Umm, seamounts, that is. Just in case anyone was confused. 🙂
New research shows that South Pacific humpbacks take pitstops over sea mountains while migrating to Antarctica to feed. Scientists don’t know yet exactly what the whales are doing there, but I’m guessing it’s the view. That’s why I go, anyway. If I can’t be in the mountains, I want to be in the ocean, and it appears the humpbacks have figured out how to get both at once.
It also appears that mountain pitstops are unique to South Pacific humpbacks, as so far, whales from other populations appear to book it straight from one end to the other. One reason might be that seamounts are unevenly distributed. Maybe Atlantic humpbacks are in a hurry because there’s nothing interesting to see down there.
Full details on the study are here. And here’s a video of Atlantic humpbacks, purely because it’s cool.
Are you a mountain or an ocean person? Ever seen a humpback whale in real life? Share in the comments!
For more, check out my book Humpback Whale Migration, for kids ages 6-9. And if you’re thinking about giving Fuzzy Forensics to everyone you know this Christmas (and really, why wouldn’t you? 🙂 ), the shipping cutoff for Christmas delivery is December 9. Contact me to order.