150 Whales Spotted in the Southern Ocean feeding together: The wonderful video
During an expedition to Antarctica, scientists spotted huge groups of whales feeding together because it was great news.
The southern fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus quote), a subspecies that lives in the southern hemisphere of the planet, has returned to regain possession of the antarctic habitat from which it had been “torn” during the era of Valeria. In the heart of a scientific expedition conducted along the coasts of the Antarctic peninsula in 2018, have been well sighted 100 groups of fin whales.
Most of them consisted of a few specimens, at most four, but in one area, scientists encountered two huge aggregations of cetaceans in which there were 50 and 70 specimens. During another expedition, scientists sighted Ben 150 Balaenoptera the following year in a single “big group.”
Considering these majestic giants of the sea, an extraordinary and moving sight had been brought to the verge of extinction. Even today, the fin whale is classified as vulnerable (VU) on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); these sightings bode well for the future of this wonderful species (and its southern subspecies).
An international research team led by German scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research, who collaborated closely with colleagues from the Institute of Marine Ecosystem and Fishery Science of the University of Hamburg and of the BBC’s Natural History Unit, whose crew photographed the animals with the help of drones and from a helicopter.
The scientists, coordinated by Professor Bettina Meyer, a lecturer at the University of Oldenburg, discovered these groups of whales by chance; between March and May 2018, they headed towards the Antarctic peninsula – with the help of the research icebreaker North Star – with the main objective of studying the krill shellfish the giants of the sea feed on. The BBC crew also participated in the expedition with a helicopter, with which they conducted 22 loves and covered beyond 3,200 kilometers.
About 100 small groups of whales were discovered during the aerial and ship observations, but two were huge. The first and the second, consisting of 50 and 70 southern fin whales, respectively, have been identified near Elephant Island, in the Weddell Sea off the Antarctic Peninsula. “I had never seen so many whales in one place before, and I was fascinated by watching these huge groups feed themselves,” said Professor Meyer, genuinely enthusiastic about the meeting.
These large aggregations, moreover, not only tell us that fin whales are regaining possession of the habitat from which man annihilated them, but they are a positive sign for the entire planet and the balance of ecosystems. As the biologists explain, the excrement of whales is an exceptional fertilizer for the phytoplankton, which feeds the krill. The whole Antarctic ecosystem benefits vertically, but not only.
“As the whale population grows, the animals recycle more nutrients, increasing the productivity of the Southern Ocean. This stimulates the growth of algae, which in turn absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through photosynthesis, reducing the concentration of atmospheric CO2,” added Professor Meyer. The research “Return of large fin whale feeding aggregations to historical whaling grounds in the Southern Ocean” has been published in the Scientific Reports journal of the Nature circuit.