The northern minke whale slips under the sea ice in Antarctica

The northern minke whale slips under the sea ice next to the McMurdo Strait in Antarctica. This sight calms, and it’s hard not to be stupefied. This is exactly what happened to Regina Eysert, an expert on marine mammals from the University of Canterbury (UK).

Eyzert thought that the northern small minke whales were boring. But after seeing the video and learning more about them, the scientist was carried away by these animals, and also realized that observations of the bald patches will help to know how the marine mammals are oriented in the icy waters.

To remove a video of a whale that floats under water is not a lucky event. The chamber was placed in the water channel, which was cut by the icebreaker “Polaris”. It turned out something like a route for whale travel, so this is a first-class place for shooting video. Although it was planned to do many hours of filming, due to a technical error, the camera was able to work only 90 minutes. The water is so clean that at a distance of 50-80 meters you can monitor all the whales that use the channel.

The type of baleen whales northern small minke whales has not been particularly well studied. Since these animals prefer remote and complex places, the cost and time required for their study are palpable. We know that minke whales can grow up to 10 meters in length and weigh up to 9 tons. Like other whales, they eat krill, but other foods may be included in their diet, as this video shows.

Eyzert, whose main research focuses on fish-eating killer whales in the Ross Sea, hopes that photos and samples of minke tissue will help further research whale species in the area.

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