May 12th, 2011 | By | Category: Youth Blog

Krill Illustration by Willy Jones

If you have ever gone on a whale watch, you might have seen maybe six or seven whales or more. But imagine if you saw 306 humpback whales! Well, that’s what happened to the scientists researching on Wilhelmina Bay, a bay on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula. It was a record number of whales in one place.

The humpback whale is a mid-sized whale growing to about 50 feet. Humpbacks are a common type of whale that mainly feeds on krill, a small shrimp-like crustacean. I think it’s amazing that such big creatures feed on such tiny animals.

As big as the world is, humpbacks and all whales may run into the problem of running out of krill for their meal. In Antarctica, the krill make a nest for their young in the ice so the babies have a place to hide from the whales. Due to global warming, the krill’s ice is starting to melt. That means the krill have no protection from the whales, with all of the krill in the open. Whales may decrease the number of krill and not have a big enough food supply in the future.

Krill really play a big part in the whole ecosystem of the world. It’s really hard to believe that just an inch-long little shrimp feeds a 50-foot whale. Whales have to eat tons of krill to get full, and eating that much means the whale has to poop a lot. I’ve actually seen some humpback poop. It was red because those humpbacks were eating krill and the color of krill is red. If you ever go on a whale watch, you’ll know if the whale you’re watching is eating krill if its poop is red.

http://bit.ly/j65Jn5

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http://www.gadling.com/2011/05/03/record-numbers-of-humpback-whales-spotted-near-antarctica/

Guest Blog Post by: Willy, 10, Pennsylvania

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