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A Fin Whale Steals the Spotlight!

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Whale Watching | Mammals

Thursday, September 30, 2010


If you’ve been on a whale watch recently, you might have noticed that there are girls in Aquarium uniforms that are taking a lot of pictures. These are photo ID interns that are helping me with data collection so we can help our friends at Cascadia Research Collective to help protect whales. Luckily, they take a lot of photos, and this last Monday they caught some AMAZING pictures of a fin whale feeding!

Fin whales are the second largest whale in the world maxing out at around 88 feet long. The largest whale is the blue whale, which is one we’ve been seeing quite a bit of the last couple months. Throughout the summer, the fin whales and blue whales will be feeding in the same area on the same types of food…krill. Krill is a small, shrimp like animal that can be found all over the world. Lucky for us, there is quite a bit here off of Long Beach which brings the two largest animals in the world.

As I mentioned in my last blog, the krill has been at the surface more often than usual. The majority of the time it’s down deeper and the whales will dive for it. I can’t believe how much lunge feeding we’ve been seeing the last six weeks as a result of the krill moving up. I feel like I keep blogging about lunge feeding, but the stuff we are seeing is so amazing, it’s hard not to!

On Monday, one particular fin whale decided to do quite a bit of feeding very close to the boat and showed everyone how it’s done! She even came so close to the boat while lunging you can easily see her eye in the pictures. They are such a beautiful animal. I only hope everyone gets to enjoy their beauty at some point.

Although fin whales can be seen here all times throughout the year, you definitely won’t see this kind of activity all year long. If you’re in the area, now is a great time to see some of the largest animals in the world. With all the krill that’s been on the surface lately, you might even get lucky and see some lunge feeding for yourself!

A Fin Whale Steals the Spotlight!
You can see the krill that fin whale is gulping up. It's all the little pink things at the front of its mouth!  | Stephanie Vital
A Fin Whale Steals the Spotlight!
A fin whale lunges straight up out of the water. This is a great shot of the baleen in the mouth and the throat fully expanded.  | Stephanie Vital

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fabian rodriguez

Monday, October 04, 2010 11:43 AM


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Tuesday, October 26, 2010 11:26 PM

Awesome post! Thank you so much for sharing. This entire Blog is fantastic!

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