This photo taken an hour earlier than yesterday’s post shows a humpback whale fluking or lobtailing. Lobtailing is the act of a whale lifting its fluke out of the water and then bringing it down onto the surface of the water hard and fast in order to make a loud slap. Large whales tend to lobtail by positioning themselves vertically downwards into the water and then slapping the surface by bending the tail stock. They are likely to slap several times in a single session. The sound of a lobtail can be heard underwater several hundred metres from the site of a slap. This has led to speculation amongst scientists that lobtailing is, like breaching, a form of non-vocal communication. Also some suggest that lobtailing in humpback whales is a means of foraging. The hypothesis is that the loud noise causes herring to become frightened, thus tightening their school together, making it easier for the humpback to feed on them.
Once the grizzly bears we view on Knight Inlet’s Glendale River have caught their salmon they eat but where is the question? This on has decided that sitting in shallow water and using four feet is a good idea others prefer to find a rock to use as a table. Some retreat to the shore for fear of the salmon escaping and a few move into the surrounding bush. When the bears are done with the carcasses they break down and feed the plant life of the forest. The trees in the forest close to the rivers have been found to carry salmon DNA. This only makes sense the trees are going to use whatever is available to grow and what could be better than healthy salmon carcasses? From this scientists have been able to take core samples from these trees to determine what years have had good salmon runs thereby creating a record for rivers and determining the historic levels of salmon is various coastal rivers of BC.Visit our Blog