A first in 20 years: Two blue whales Enter New Hampshire Coast
It is not common to spot blue whales in waters off the coast of New Hampshire. On Friday, the uncommon view became possible when two blue whales were seen in the area water. Spotting one is unusual, but there were two whales seen together for the first time in last 20 years.
Blue whales are the biggest mammals found on our planet. They are 100 feet long and weigh up to 200 tones. Their tongues alone can be as heavy as an elephant. They mostly consume small marine creatures called krill. A whale consumes about four tones of krill a day.
The whales forage in group sometimes, they along with their baleen whale cousins engage in bubble netting, which is a technique of swimming in team and diving down under a krill swarm. This way, they release great amount of bubble to displace the krill that are caught easily if disoriented.
“For blue whales, one of our main questions has been: 'How do they eat efficiently to support that massive body size? Now we know that optimizing their feeding behavior is another specialization that makes the most of the food available”, said Elliott Hazen in 2015. He is an ecologist of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The blue whales identify which swarm of krill is strong and has more density. These factors help them channelize their energy accordingly in foraging. When krill are less dense, whales release less energy, but if concentration of krill is strong, much energy is applied as whales dive deeper and use more oxygen.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature has rated blue whales as endangered. But now their number is improving. The blue whales are found almost in any ocean around the world, exclusively in the Arctic and some regional seas.
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