Behold, a very unique method of hunting practiced by humpback whales in the Atlantic Ocean.
As in the stunning video shared by the University of Hawaii, a pair of humpback whales blow bubbles while swimming in circles to capture their prey.
The bubbles create a circular “net” around their chosen prey before approaching them with a lunge from below.
Filmed in the icy waters of Southern Alaska, whale-mounted cameras and sensors, as well as drones, were used to capture the video.
You can see whales swimming around a school of fish they have chosen as their prey while creating a net of bubbles.
Then, when confined in space, the whales swallow the prey with their mouths wide open.
“The footage is pretty groundbreaking,” said Lars Bejde, the UH Mānoa Marine Mammal Research Program (MMRP) director.
“We are observing how these animals manipulate their prey and prepare it for capture. It allows us to gain new insights that we really weren’t able to do before. ”
The illustration above shows how a humpback blows bubbles ‘net’ before slamming his flippers into the net to fortify them before plunging.
Summer sees about 3,000 humpback whales visit Alaska, and the winter, which is the breeding season, up to 10,000 of them head to Hawaii.
The researchers now hope the footage will help shed some light on shifts in habitat and changed in food to climate change and prey depletion.