Decreased feeding ability of a minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) with entanglement-like injuries

Authors: 

Kot, B.W., Ramp, C. and R. Sears

Year: 

2009

Journal/Publisher Name: 

Marine Mammal Science

Publisher Address: 

Wiley Periodicals, Inc., Malden, MA USA

Volume (Issue #): 

25(3)

Page #s: 

706-713

Contact information: 

Lead author: Brian W. Kot, kotb@tamug.edu
Summary: 

This investigation details an unusual encounter with a lunge-feeding minke whale with fresh entanglement-like injuries to its head and ventral pouch.  It also discusses results from a short-term comparative study that tested whether the whale fed differently than five uninjured minke whales feeding in the same area.  Collectively, this study: 1) quantifies how much a rope-like injury can restrict the expansion of a minke's ventral pouch while feeding, 2) provides the first minke whale lunge-feeding velocities from a photogrammetric method using digital video, and 3) describes a new lunge-feeding aerial maneuver for minke whales that is possibly associated with the injury.