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Coping with copepods: do right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) forage visually in dark waters?

Overview
TitleCoping with copepods: do right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) forage visually in dark waters?
AuthorsCronin TW, Fasick JI, Schweikert LE, Johnsen S, Kezmoh LJ, Baumgartner MF
TypeJournal Article
Journal NamePhilosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences
Volume372
Issue1717
Year2017
Page(s)N/A
CitationCronin TW, Fasick JI, Schweikert LE, Johnsen S, Kezmoh LJ, Baumgartner MF. Coping with copepods: do right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) forage visually in dark waters?. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences. 2017 Apr 05; 372(1717).

Abstract

<p>North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) feed during the spring and early summer in marine waters off the northeast coast of North America. Their food primarily consists of planktonic copepods, Calanus finmarchicus, which they consume in large numbers by ram filter feeding. The coastal waters where these whales forage are turbid, but they successfully locate copepod swarms during the day at depths exceeding 100 m, where light is very dim and copepod patches may be difficult to see. Using models of E. glacialis visual sensitivity together with measurements of light in waters near Cape Cod where they feed and of light attenuation by living copepods in seawater, we evaluated the potential for visual foraging by these whales. Our results suggest that vision may be useful for finding copepod patches, particularly if E. glacialis searches overhead for silhouetted masses or layers of copepods. This should permit the whales to locate C. finmarchicus visually throughout most daylight hours at depths throughout their foraging range. Looking laterally, the whales might also be able to see copepod patches at short range near the surface.This article is part of the themed issue 'Vision in dim light'.</p>
Properties
Additional details for this publication include:
Property NameValue
Journal CountryEngland
Publication TypeJournal Article
Language Abbreng
LanguageEnglish
Copyright© 2017 The Author(s).
DOI10.1098/rstb.2016.0067
Elocation10.1098/rstb.2016.0067
PII20160067
Journal AbbreviationPhilos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond., B, Biol. Sci.
Publication Date2017 Apr 05
eISSN1471-2970
ISSN1471-2970
Publication ModelPrint
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PMID: PubMedPMID:28193812