The fin whale is the second-largest animal ever to live on Earth. It is also, paradoxically, one of the least understood. The animal’s huge size and global range make its movements and behavior hard to study.
A carcass that washed up on a Seattle-area beach this spring provided a reminder that sleek fin whales, nicknamed “greyhounds of the sea,” are vulnerable to collision when they strike fast-moving ships. Knowing their swimming behaviors could help vessels avoid the animals. Understanding where and what they eat could also help support the fin whale’s slowly rebounding populations. (more…)