The Madagascar whale mysteries unraveled

After nearly ten years the scientists have collected enough data to explain some of the aquatic mammals characteristics.

Ian Marsh | Apr 30, 2016

Salvatore Cerchio went to Madagascar to study dolphins more than a decade ago. But on his arrival, he found schools of whales and his research focus quickly change. The waters of Madagascar are desert waters, making whale food very scarce, and the discovery of whales was by itself history making. But what was perhaps even more puzzling was that the whale species was the rare Bryde's whale.

The whale has not been recorded anywhere outside captivity for a very long time. After this discovery, they focused entirely on the whale and attempted to unravel the mysteries of the Bryde's whale in its natural habitat.

After nearly ten years the scientists have collected enough data to explain some of the aquatic mammals characteristics. The Bryde's whale is not one of the big whales, but at 38 feet, it is still a massive creature. Suffice their enormous size the whales feed on shrimp found in the Madagascan coast. "What was exciting is that we got more information on their feeding than we ever had before," said Salvatore Cerchio. "They spend their entire lives in the tropics. That is really unusual and unique because the tropics are difficult to make a living."

They also observed that suffice the desert waters of the Madagascan coast; the whale spent its entire life there. This is a very rare whale characteristic as many whale species are migratory in nature. They also noted that mothers don't move away from the colony once they give birth to their puppies instead they live close by. The whales were also singing, they were recorded as they hummed a rhythmic melody, with soloist leading the whole performance. This is their primary method of communication.

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