Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day 9.  A somewhat quieter day compared to yesterday, although still a very fruitful day on the water. Encountered pilot whales and dwarf sperm whales again. More importantly, we've had a bit of time to process, save, and back-up the information and experience collected yesterday.  Melon-headed whales are a smaller, fast and agile toothed whale. Note how fast they are moving in the picture below. Actually creating a bubble trail from the Dtag on the animals back. This was from the Dtagging yesterday. This picture was taken 3-4 min after we Dtagged the whale. It swam past the boat at a very high speed, allowing us to capture this photo.  A neighbor animal is swimming next to the tagged animal.  These suction-cup tags may release at these very high speeds and the tag popped off just minutes later.  When the tag pops off, it floats in the water (second picture). The radio antenna broadcasts a high frequency signal allowing us to find and retrieve the tag. 

Two melon-headed whales swimming at high speeds (Photo A. Mooney; NMFS permit no. 15530)

Dtag floating in water (Photo A. Mooney)

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