Not only is the blue whale the largest animal to ever live on the planet, it is also one of the most elusive. This magnificent beast is rarely recorded in the wild. However, a group of researchers recently captured some amazing video of the creature feeding. They did so by using a remote-controlled drone. The stunning shots grant insights into how the largest animal on the face of the Earth feeds on one of the smallest.
When the Biggest Animal, the Blue Whale, Feeds on One of the Smallest, Krills
This feeding strategy has been seen before, from boats, but never from the air. This latter provides an amazing new perspective on the behavior. One can see the blue whale turn, paddle with his flukes, then open his wide maw to suck in the krill and the surrounding water. This mouthful is then filtered back through the whale’s baleen, teeth-like structures inside their mouth. The krill is then trapped and consumed, while the water is expelled back into the ocean.
This video displays another interesting aspect, namely, the blue whale’s decision-making process when it feeds. It requires huge amounts of energy for a blue whale to open its mouth underwater. The action is like slamming the brakes on any forward momentum of the beast.