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dc.contributor.authorKosma, Madison, M.
dc.contributor.authorWerth, Alexander J.
dc.contributor.authorSzabo, Andrew R.
dc.contributor.authorStraley, Janice M.
dc.date.accessioned2021-04-14T21:41:19Z
dc.date.available2021-04-14T21:41:19Z
dc.date.issued2019-09-23
dc.identifier.citationKosma MM, Werth AJ, Szabo AR, Straley JM. 2019 Pectoral herding: an innovative tactic for humpback whale foraging. R. Soc. open sci. 6: 191104.en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/11122/11923
dc.description.abstractHumpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) have exceptionally long pectorals (i.e. flippers) that aid in shallow water navigation, rapid acceleration and increased manoeuvrability. The use of pectorals to herd or manipulate prey has been hypothesized since the 1930s. We combined new technology and a unique viewing platform to document the additional use of pectorals to aggregate prey during foraging events. Here, we provide a description of ‘pectoral herding’ and explore the conditions that may promote this innovative foraging behaviour. Specifically, we analysed aerial videos and photographic sequences to assess the function of pectorals during feeding events near salmon hatchery release sites in Southeast Alaska (2016–2018). We observed the use of solo bubble-nets to initially corral prey, followed by calculated movements to establish a secondary boundary with the pectorals—further condensing prey and increasing foraging efficiency. We found three ways in which humpback whales use pectorals to herd prey: (i) create a physical barrier to prevent evasion, (ii) cause water motion to guide prey towards the mouth, and (iii) position the ventral side to reflect light and alter prey movement. Our findings suggest that behavioural plasticity may aid foraging in changing environments and shifts in prey availability. Further study would clarify if ‘pectoral herding’ is used as a principal foraging tool by the broader humpback whale population and the conditions that promote its use.en_US
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.publisherThe Royal Societyen_US
dc.subjectflipperen_US
dc.subjectforagingen_US
dc.subjecthumpback whaleen_US
dc.subjectSoutheast Alaskaen_US
dc.subjectaerial footageen_US
dc.subjectbehavioural plasticityen_US
dc.titlePectoral herding: an innovative tactic for humpback whale foragingen_US
dc.typeArticleen_US
dc.description.peerreviewYesen_US
refterms.dateFOA2021-04-14T21:41:20Z
dc.identifier.journalRoyal Society Open Scienceen_US


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