swim in securitya Humpback whale suckling calf At the end of feeding, a trace of milk dyes the water blue. “A unique moment,” is how a team of Colombian researchers describe the fact they were able to film this natural feat in Quebec Bayin Colombia. Experts said this is a very difficult sequence to capture.
“Despite the efforts of thousands of researchers for decades, only hours of work and collaboration Feeding records are extremely scarceconfirms Natalia Botero, director of the Macuaticos Foundation and one of those responsible for the graphic production obtained.
The video was taken in August 2022, but was recently released in Medellin. The piece shows a whale feeding its baby while swimming in the Pacific Ocean. At the end of the sequence you can see A trace of milk colors the water blueWhile the 900-kilogram calf, already full, rises to the surface for air.
To date, only two similar records have been made to depict the largest mammals in the world: one off the island of La Reunion in the Indian Ocean, and the other on the island of Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean. “From a scientific point of view, this is an important step, but also from a conservation perspective.Refers to the biologist.
To achieve the shots, a complex system was implemented involving a set of multiple sensors that were attached to the back of the calf for a few hours using a suction cup system so as not to get injured. Not only is a camera connected, but a GPS is also added to track the location of the whale, and an accelerometer to see how the animal orients itself, how it positions its body in the water column, and also how it propels itself. Finally, a porous microphone to record the sounds or sounds of contact between the mother and the calf.
After months of feeding on the Antarctic Peninsula and in the Strait of Magellan in the south of the American continent, thousands of whales are making a long journey towards warm tropical waters to breed in a corridor that extends from southern Costa Rica to northern Peru in the case of the Pacific Ocean.
between June and November, Colombian waters welcome humpback whales from the Southeast PacificThese giant cetaceans that can reach 17 meters in length, weigh around 40 tons and travel about 8,500 km to reproduce. This is where the periods of fertilization and childbirth are The first moments of young people’s lives, behaviors that are still difficult to understand in the eyes of science.
“Although the humpback whale is now protected from commercial fishing, it is a species that continues to face a variety of threats,” explains the scientist. Therefore, by knowing better details of their behaviour, we can promote more appropriate conservation measures. Thanks in part to scientific research, humpback whales were removed from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) list of vulnerable species in 2008.”
This observational project focused on groups of mothers with calves and involved the University of California Santa Cruz and the University of Los Andes. For about three months, the females mate with the males, and the women who were pregnant in the previous season give birth to their calves and feed them with milk that is up to 40% fat. As a result, those that are born weighing nearly a ton and measure about four meters in length will gain hundreds of kilograms before migrating to their feeding grounds on the Antarctic Peninsula.
Despite significant research efforts in the area, this is rarely the case The first lactation video for this clan in the breeding area, which extends from southern Costa Rica to northern Peru. The occurrence of lactation in Cupica Bay indicates that this is a key domain for the species and specifically for key processes in its life history.