Blue Whales have been described as the biggest Mammal on earth and scientists have discovered the secret of how these gargantuan creatures maintain their huge size. The Blue Whales subsist mainly on Krills and have developed an effective strategy of diving for food. The Blue Whales have been able to maintain their huge body by an efficient process of killing krills. The key to the process is to preserve oxygen and energy from earlier feeding episodes.
The methodology by which huge bodied animals like whale balance their energy gain and loss was always a mystery which has been unravelled only now. It was thought that huge mammals like the whales replenished their energy needs by feeding on plentiful tiny krills during the entire day, no matter how the preys were grouped in the waters. It was a big mystery how these gigantic animals were able to maintain their huge size.
A study conducted under the aegis of researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries, Oregon State University and Stanford University have unveiled a sophisticated feeding method which can best described as unique.
Using digital acoustic recording archival tags (DTAGs) to figure out how blue whales conduct themselves and make their decisions while feeding on their prey. Foraging patterns of 14 tagged and 41 formerly tagged blue whales off the California were closely studied. Amalgamating the data from both groups that measured the density of krill (the animals’ only prey) in the ocean, the researchers were able to come up with a surprising analysis.
The study which was published in the October 2 edition of journal Science Advances revealed that when the one-inch krills were widespread in the water, the blue whales would devour them with gusto feeding on the krill’s so as to preserve energy for later use. However, when the density of the krill increased, the blue whales were found to Glutton-feed,” or consume more prey and obtain energy per dive.