FEB 16, 2020 8:23 AM PST

Drone Footage Shows a Hungry Blue Whale Lunging At Krill

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Blue whales are the largest living mammals on Earth, capable of growing as long as three full-length school buses. As you might come to expect, large animals have large appetites, and so blue whales don’t hesitate to feast whenever they find a large mass of the prey in one convenient location.

One of a blue whale’s favorite foods is krill, which often amass in large groups in the ocean. When a blue whale comes close to a large mass of krill, it will accelerate to around 6.7 miles per hour, open its mouth, and lunge directly toward the mass with the hope of filling its stomach. In this drone footage, we can see this happening.

As the whale opens its large mouth, its speed decreases substantially. This is because the whale’s mouth works against the aerodynamic properties of the whale’s body.

Worthy of note, blue whales only seem to bother with eating when the krill masses they discover are large. If the mass isn’t big enough, the blue whale may still swim through the mass of krill, but it doesn’t bother to open its mouth and lunge for the chance to catch any. Some scientists think this could be because the reward isn’t fruitful enough for the incredible amount of energy needed to lunge at the mass of krill.

Related: Blue whales' heart rates drop substantially on deep dives

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
MAR 12, 2021
Chemistry & Physics
What we still don't understand about photosynthesis
MAR 12, 2021
What we still don't understand about photosynthesis
Researchers from the University of Leeds and Kobe University in Japan have designed a new method to explore the still-mi ...
MAR 26, 2021
Plants & Animals
Studies Confirm that Bottlenose Dolphins Vocalize to Synchronize Behaviors
MAR 26, 2021
Studies Confirm that Bottlenose Dolphins Vocalize to Synchronize Behaviors
The ability to communicate with one another to coordinate behaviors contributes to the success of social mammals, like b ...
APR 04, 2021
Plants & Animals
Alternating Sleep Phases in Octopuses Suggest They Can Dream
APR 04, 2021
Alternating Sleep Phases in Octopuses Suggest They Can Dream
Octopuses are known to sleep and change their colors while they do it. Researchers have now linked these color changes t ...
APR 20, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
The History of Lettuce Domestication Told Through DNA
APR 20, 2021
The History of Lettuce Domestication Told Through DNA
The more we know about the genetic history of food crops, the more prepared we'll be to maintain their growth through en ...
MAY 13, 2021
Plants & Animals
Brood X Cicadas Are Here - Help Scientists Track Them
MAY 13, 2021
Brood X Cicadas Are Here - Help Scientists Track Them
Download this smartphone app to help document one of North America's natural wonders.
JUN 03, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Why did all the sharks die?
JUN 03, 2021
Why did all the sharks die?
New research published in the journal Science reports on the discovery of a massive shark die-off - nearly 19 million ye ...
Loading Comments...