Eye Of The Whale

Gina Ruttle  (Whalegeek)

Palos Park, United States

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Best Viewed Large For Details…Thanks!

A surface lunging humpback whale’s bloodshot eye appears a bit startled at the sight of an observer.

Here’s another view of the initial surface lunge of a humpback whale…

And another look…

A group of approximately 20-25 humpback whales engaged in surface lunging behavior in a veritable krill soup. Churning the water by slamming their massive tail flukes onto the surface to stun their prey, the humpbacks then swam in ever-tightening circles around the krill before lunging to the surface with huge jaws agape. Seconds after the lunge, the humpbacks leaned over on their sides to propel their bodies and gaping mouths through the krill “soup.”

Not only does the viewer enjoy a good look at the eye of a humpback whale but the baleen plates suspended from the whale’s top jaw are also visible. Gulping huge amounts of seawater and the shrimplike krill, next whales close their mouths and expel the seawater by contracting expandable ventral throat pleats on their lower jaws. This leaves the prey trapped in the brushy baleen plates; next the whales use their large tongues to slurp up the krill from the baleen. There you have it, Whale Dining 101!

For a look at the humpback whales in action, please view this short film Surface Lunging Humpback Whales that I created with video footage and still images. The video demonstrates what the whales are doing far better than a still image can achieve. Hope you enjoy the show!

Surface Lunging Humpback Whales

SE Alaska, USA

November 11, 2010

Canon 7D, Canon 100-400mm f4.5/5.6L IS lens, shutter 1/160, f/4,5, exposure bias +1.00, shutter priority mode, focal length 105mm, ISO 400

The Sejourner (January 14, 2011)
Alaska~Beyond Your Dreams (April 8, 2011)

Artwork Comments

  • chrythmnove
  • Gina Ruttle  (Whalegeek)
  • chrythmnove
  • chrythmnove
  • Gina Ruttle  (Whalegeek)
  • Ann  Van Breemen
  • Gina Ruttle  (Whalegeek)
  • Wendy  Slee
  • Gina Ruttle  (Whalegeek)
  • Jacqueline Ison
  • Gina Ruttle  (Whalegeek)
  • laruecherie
  • Gina Ruttle  (Whalegeek)
  • Trish Meyer
  • Gina Ruttle  (Whalegeek)
  • Ray Clarke
  • Gina Ruttle  (Whalegeek)
  • Cat2be
  • Gina Ruttle  (Whalegeek)
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