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Whale cam shows remarkable evidence of how minke whales feed

Most of the world’s large whale species are found in the Antarctic, but relatively little is known about their distribution and feeding areas. For the first time ever, scientists have attached a camera to a minke whale and captured remarkable evidence of how it feeds. The camera – one of three “whale cams” funded by WWF-Australia – was secured to the whale’s body using a non-invasive suction cup that is designed to fall off after 24-48 hours. As the whale picked up speed in the water, the camera slid down its side and filmed its throat expand and contract in a process called “lunge feeding.” When it lunge feeds, or filter feeds, the minke uses special bristle-like structures in its mouth called baleen to strain krill and other small fish from the water. But climate change and krill fishing are beginning to impact the minke’s staple food source. The footage from this whale cam will help scientists better protect feeding areas in the Antarctic. Read more about the minke whale camera project.