Bowhead Whales Use Two Foraging Strategies in Response to Fine-scale Differences in Zooplankton Vertical Distribution

Bowhead Whale TracksResearchers attached trackers to bowhead whales in Cumberland Sound, Nunavut (Canada), and used an optical plankton counter (OPC) and net collections to identify and enumerate copepod prey species through the water column. Eleven bowheads were equipped with Wildlife Computers SPLASH tags in Cumberland Sound between 20 and 28 August 2016, with usable data obtained from nine tags. It’s been found that the whales fed on two layers of calanoid copepods. In deep square-shaped dives, they fed on small particles (10% greater overall biomass) than in shallow square-shaped dives where they fed on large particles.

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