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Hungry Humpbacks

Humpback whales face a dilemma when foraging for dinner: take physically demanding dives to depths where prey is more plentiful, or stick to easy-to-reach shallows? To find out which way whales go, Duke researchers tagged and tracked five humpbacks off the Alaskan coast and compared their movements to the locations of large schools of krill, detected via SONAR. They found the dives (fine black line) usually match the depths where krill were most abundant (warm colors), hinting that hungry humpbacks prefer a trip to the mega-mart over a stop at the corner store. Read the paper here.