Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Wildlife Wednesday - deep diving whales

No idea what whale this is, but I think it's a whale :)
Oh WOW! I just read this news article (here) that says scientists have been studying whales off California and have recorded a Cuvier's Beaked Whale diving to a depth of 3.2km. WOW! Just wow!

Imagine the water pressure at that depth? It says it's equivalent of 320 atmospheres.

And the longest dive lasted for 137 minutes - yep, over 2 hours!

That's some feat!

They recorded 1100 dives, with the average being 1.4km. That's a lot of diving.

This fascinates me. We don't really know much about the inhabitants of the ocean. But why would a whale dive that far? It would have to be chasing food, right? Big giant squid of the deep?

We have these whales around Australia, they know this because of strandings, not sightings. Here's some Aussie info on them.

They're about 8m long for females, up to 10m for males.

They like deep water and are rarely found in waters less than 1km deep (and after the diving info, this is understandable, any shallower would be boring for them :) ).

Oh, they eat mostly oceanic squid. And one found off Victoria had up to 500 individual squid in its stomach. That's a LOT of squid.

I wonder if they chase a big squid to those depths, or if there was a huge mass of squid down there that the whale went down to eat.

Nature is fascinating :)


  1. Way cool. You must be stoked about the international rulings on whaling. I imagine that deep in the ocean it must be pitch black too. Fascinating what goes on down there.

    1. It was a pretty momentous decision, wasn't it? Just hope it can be policed now, but at least it should limit the slaughter.

      Yes, it must be black down there, and heavy, would be fascinating to go, wouldn't it? Be like Jonah in the whale and go for a dive. (Oh, that's me turning bible stories into nature shows. You can see what I did in church as a kid.)

      Thanks, Lily!

      Cate xo