Regulatory News

On the one hand, whales, giants of up to 16 meters and weighing 50 tons. On the other, seagulls, shorebirds of no more than one meter. During clashes against the backdrop of the Valdes Peninsula, in Patagonia, the southern tip of Argentina, it is the cetaceans that normally come with serious injuries. This is because when going up to the surface to breathe, they are attacked by birds using their beaks to tear off pieces of skin and fat. These attacks are so constant that whales passing through the region to have calves and nursing them are already changing their habits, changing their way of breathing, so as not to become victims.

This finding is part of a research published in the journal Marine Biology. "When they breathe, whales often first lift the heads and then the bodies. We note that now they only raise their heads to the blowhole (hole used for breathing) and return to the water quickly, keeping their bodies submerged," described Ana Fazio, the National Center of Scientific and Technical Research of Argentina, in an interview with the BBC.

The researcher explains that this change of behavior reduces the number of injuries in whales, but causes another effect: the energy spent by them to breathe while keeping most of the body underwater is higher, especially for calves. They should use this energy to feed, grow and swim back to Antarctica.

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