Monday, 8 April 2013

Antarctic Blue Whales Found With Sound

Becky Oskin, OurAmazingPlanet Staff Writer
Date: 04 April 2013 Time: 03:14 PM ET

Whales may be the biggest animals on Earth, but finding them in the vast open ocean isn't easy.

Now, an Australia-led research team has demonstrated a novel idea for chasing down the massive marine mammals. To search for Antarctic blue whales, the group dropped sonar buoys in the Ross Sea west of Antarctica, and listened for whale calls. They triangulated the whale's location from their calls, and then sailed to the right spot.

During the research cruise, the scientists photographed 57 blue whales, collected 23 skin biopsy samples and stuck on two satellite-tracking tags. They also spotted 11 pygmy blue whales and eight humpback whales, among a total 720 cetacean species (the group that includes whales, dolphins and porpoises).

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