Potential energy gain by whales outside of the Antarctic: prey preferences and consumption rates of migrating humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae)

Owen, Kylie, Kavanagh, Ailbhe S., Warren, Joseph, Noad, Michael J., Donnelly, David, Goldizen, Anne W. and Dunlop, Rebecca A. (2016) Potential energy gain by whales outside of the Antarctic: prey preferences and consumption rates of migrating humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae). Polar Biology, 1-13. doi:10.1007/s00300-016-1951-9


Author Owen, Kylie
Kavanagh, Ailbhe S.
Warren, Joseph
Noad, Michael J.
Donnelly, David
Goldizen, Anne W.
Dunlop, Rebecca A.
Title Potential energy gain by whales outside of the Antarctic: prey preferences and consumption rates of migrating humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae)
Formatted title
Potential energy gain by whales outside of the Antarctic: prey preferences and consumption rates of migrating humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae)
Journal name Polar Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0722-4060
1432-2056
Publication date 2016-04-28
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s00300-016-1951-9
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Start page 1
End page 13
Total pages 13
Place of publication Heidelberg, Germany
Publisher Springer
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) makes annual migrations from Antarctic feeding grounds to tropical breeding grounds. The extent to which it feeds during migration is unknown, but thought to be very low. Whether an animal feeds during migration is likely dependent on prey availability and on the ease with which it can capture the available prey. This study used digital tags (DTAGs) and concurrent prey sampling to measure how changes in the depth and type of prey influenced the lunge feeding rates and the amount of energy consumed by migrating humpback whales. Whales targeting krill lunged at significantly higher rates than whales targeting fish; however, the depth of the prey did not influence lunge rate. The observed lunge rates when feeding on krill, to the best of our knowledge, are higher than any previously reported rates of whales feeding. Estimates of the energetic content of the prey ingested revealed that whales may consume between 1.2 and 3.4 times their daily energy requirements per day while feeding on krill during migration, but less when feeding on fish. This suggests that whales may begin to restock energy supplies prior to reaching the Antarctic. Determining how often this high rate of energy intake occurs along the migratory route will assist with understanding the contribution of migratory energy intake to annual energy budgets.
Keyword Energy budget
Krill
Lunge feeding
Megaptera novaeangliae
Migratory stopover
Southern Ocean
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Biological Sciences Publications
School of Veterinary Science Publications
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 2 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Tue, 10 May 2016, 00:38:22 EST by System User on behalf of Learning and Research Services (UQ Library)