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Icelandic herring-eating killer whales feed at night

Richard, Gaëtan, Filatova, Olga A, Samarra, Filipa IP, Fedutin, Ivan D, Lammers, Marc and Miller, Patrick J 2017, Icelandic herring-eating killer whales feed at night, Marine biology, vol. 164, pp. 1-13, doi: 10.1007/s00227-016-3059-8.

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Title Icelandic herring-eating killer whales feed at night
Author(s) Richard, Gaëtan
Filatova, Olga A
Samarra, Filipa IP
Fedutin, Ivan D
Lammers, Marc
Miller, Patrick J
Journal name Marine biology
Volume number 164
Article ID 32
Start page 1
End page 13
Total pages 13
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Berlin, Germany
Publication date 2017-02
ISSN 0025-3162
1432-1793
Keyword(s) killer whale
sound production
humpback whale
acoustic behaviour
finless porpoise
Summary Herring-eating killer whales debilitate herring with underwater tail slaps and likely herd herring into tighter schools using a feeding-specific low-frequency pulsed call (‘herding’ call). Feeding on herring may be dependent upon daylight, as the whales use their white underside to help herd herring; however, feeding at night has not been investigated. The production of feeding-specific sounds provides an opportunity to use passive acoustic monitoring to investigate feeding behaviour at different times of day. We compared the acoustic behaviour of killer whales between day and night, using an autonomous recorder deployed in Iceland during winter. Based upon acoustic detection of underwater tail slaps used to feed upon herring we found that killer whales fed both at night and day: they spent 50% of their time at night and 73% of daytime feeding. Interestingly, there was a significant diel variation in acoustic behaviour. Herding calls were significantly associated with underwater tail slap rate and were recorded significantly more often at night, suggesting that in low-light conditions killer whales rely more on acoustics to herd herring. Communicative sounds were also related to underwater tail slap rate and produced at different rates during day and night. The capability to adapt feeding behaviour to different light conditions may be particularly relevant for predator species occurring in high latitudes during winter, when light availability is limited.
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/s00227-016-3059-8
Field of Research 06 Biological Sciences
07 Agricultural And Veterinary Sciences
05 Environmental Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2017, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30110048

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.