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6 March 2014 1:04 pm ,
Vol. 343 ,
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
- 6 March 2014 1:04 pm , Vol. 343 , #6175
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Video: Rolling in the Deep
27 November 2012 7:01 pm
The blue whale isn't known for its maneuverability. The biggest blue whales are longer than two city buses and heavier than a locomotive, and they're powered by relatively small flippers and tail flukes. But surprised scientists have now caught blue whales in the act of making full 360° rolls at high speed as they close in on their prey. To track whale movements, researchers gently placed sensor-laden suction cups onto blue whales swimming off the southern California coast. The data showed that while looking for lunch, many whales rolled onto their backs, spinning 180° in a matter of 4 to 5 seconds while speeding through the sea at 11 km per hour. Then they returned to their usual belly-down position. Why do they bother? Footage from a tiny video camera attached to one whale's back may provide an answer, the scientists say in today's Biology Letters. The video shows the whale rolling 180° by extending its flipper, then opening its jaws to engulf a patch of krill, the whale's favorite meal. Off-camera, it rolls another 180° to put itself right-side up. The researchers think these "underwater acrobatics" put the animals in the right position to gulp their food after sneaking up on the krill from below.
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