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News Link • Biology, Botany and Zoology

World-first whale cam reveals secrets of the mysterious minke

• By Nick Lavars

For the first time ever, scientists have managed to slap a camera onto the mammal's back as it swam through the icy waters of Antarctica, surprising researchers with its speed and seemingly insatiable appetite.

There are actually two types of minke whale, the northern minke and the Antarctic, or southern, minke. At 8 or 9 m in length (26 to 30 ft) the minkes are the second smallest of the baleen whales, larger only than the pygmy right whales.

Minkes get their sustenance from krill or small fish, which, like their relatives, they filter through special feeding plates called baleen in a process called lunge feeding. Blue or fin whales will draw in massive amounts of water when lunge feeding, even equal to the volume of their entire bodies, but evidence of the feeding habits of minke's has been harder to come by.

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