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2     The Krill Fest in the Antarctic


Whilst in Antarctic waters, one of the major occupations of the humpback whales is feeding. The primary food source for humpback whales is krill.

Krill is a small prawn-like creature with an average body length of 4 cm. Krill mass in vast schools, feeding on the oceanic microscopic 'grass' called phytoplankton which 'blooms' in the surface waters during the summer months.

Krill swarms can be up to several hundred meters across and go to depths of 40 to 50 meters. A humpback whale will eat up to 2 tons of krill a day.

RIGHT: Euphausia superba is the primary species of Krill eaten by southern humpbacks in Antarctic waters.

(Image source: Whales, Dolphins & Porpoises, Weldon 1988)

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