Observations of blue whales feeding in Antarctic waters
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There are no published accounts of blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) feeding in Antarctic waters. This note describes the behaviour of two groups of blue whales feeding in Antarctic pelagic waters. Whales were observed during the 18th IWC/IDCR southern hemisphere minke whale assessment cruise. Feeding behaviour in both cases resembled those described previously for both northern hemisphere blue whales and fin whales (B. physalus). These observations suggest that a programme of comparative behavioural observations could be developed to test the “feeding competition” hypothesis, which suggests that recovery of populations of blue whales will be impeded by feeding competition with sympatric minke whales.
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