Tough to be a Whale

Joined
Feb 22, 2005
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4,457
Location
CT USA
Just imagine what it would be like if every time you opened your mouth to eat you were buzzed by a hundred or so mosquitos or flies. I really felt for Fulcrum, every time she surfaced the gulls were all over her. I realize the gulls are only trying to eat, too, but this was getting absurd.....

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This gull is flirtin' with disaster
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Winged pests....
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Joined
Feb 22, 2005
Messages
4,457
Location
CT USA
Thanks everyone. They can't eat a gull as their throats are too small to swallow it. Earlier in the PM trip, I saw Fulcrum open her mouth wide open well after it closed. It was the only time I saw her do this, and it is not normal. I wasn't close enough to see for sure, but the best explaination for this is she closed down with a gull in there and was opening up to let it out. Not out of respect or anything but her own survival. The news for a gull trapped inside isn't usually good, they often break wings flailing around and the experience is usually fatal for the gull. Never stops them from trying, Darwinism at work.
These were taken in the Stellwagen National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of Gloucester, MA. As for more, I hope to get out on a research boat this Thurs. If the seas and weather (and the whales!) co-operate, it will be 10 straight hours on the water, with at least 7 of it around humpbacks. I think I'm going to need more flash cards.......
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2005
Messages
4,457
Location
CT USA
Thanks, the gulls are trying to eat the sandlance, same thing the humpbacks like. They will pluck them from anywhere they can, even reaching inside a whale's mouth. Those are the ones that Darwinism usually takes care of......
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2006
Messages
3,473
Location
Wyoming, USA
Amazing captures! Really like numbers 1 and 3. Splendid pictures all.
 

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