Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeanglia) cooperative feeding using a bubble net, the Morris Reef, Point Hayes, Chatham Strait, Southeast Alaska, USA.
Here is one member of the “Fantastic Five”, as I dubbed them, feeding on the Morris Reef. It clearly illustrates the moment when the whale shuts its jaws very quickly and firmly, and any water contained is forcefully ejected out through the baleen plates, and any prey is trapped inside its mouth. Also clearly visible are the distinctive bumps or “tubercles” on the rostrum of a humpback whale that are found on no other species of whale. Each tubercle has a small hair or “vibrissae”, that probably act like whiskers as sensory organs for detecting their prey.
- Duncan Murrell
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