April 29, 2013 | 3
Image of the Week #89, April 29th, 2013:
From: Animal culture: insights from whales by Felicity Muth at Not bad science.
Source: Jennifer Allen from Whale Centre of New England
New research shows that feeding strategies may be culturally transmitted among humpback whales. A novel form of hunting called “lobtail feeding” involves a whale slapping its tail hard on the water’s surface before engaging in “bubble feeding,” in which the whale blows bubbles around prey to act as a confusing net before it charges the group of fish with mouth wide open. The new “lobtail feeding” style was first observed in 1980 and its proliferation throughout the population has since been tracked by researchers, showing evidence of the whales learning new behaviors from each other, although the exact advantage of “lobtail feeding” is not yet understood.