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Bio-Duck Sound In Southern Ocean Revealed To Be Whales

The mystery bio-duck sound in Southern Ocean has been baffling scientists for years, until now as it has been revealed to be minke whales. Researchers had been hearing the eerie similar sounding duck quack, but couldn’t figure out what was making the sound.

According the NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center, what makes the bio-duck sound so unique is that the minke whales aren’t normally found in the Southern Ocean. The bio-duck sound the whales are making is coming from underneath the oceans frozen waters. The whales typically migrate to the North or South during the wintertime, but some of the minke whales apparently prefer the icy waters.

Bio-Duck Sound In Southern Ocean Revealed To Be Whales

Minke Whales

Minke whales making bio-duck sound beneath the icy waters. Image Courtesy: Wikipedia

The minke whale or often referred to, as lesser rorqual is a marine mammal belonging to a group of baleen whales. The whales are further categorized as dwarf minke whales, a smaller version of their species usually only reaching around 25 ft. in length and a maximum weights of approximately 10 tons.

Denise Risch, a member of the Passive Acoustics Group at the NEFSC’s Woods Hole Laboratory said, “These results have important implications for our understanding of this species. We don’t know very much about this species, but now, using passive acoustic monitoring, we have an opportunity to change that, especially in remote areas of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean.”

The bio-duck minke whales usually have a lifespan of between 30-50 years. The whales survive beneath the frozen waters by coming up for short intervals, where they grab a few breaths of air before diving deep below the surface for as long as 20 minutes. Little else is known about the minke whale species, because the area that they live in is extremely difficult to access. Although in February 2013 researchers were able to acoustically tag acoustic two Antarctic minke whales in Wilhelmina Bay off the western Antarctic Peninsula. 

The tags will allow researchers and scientists to record to vital information about the minke whales and the bio-duck mystery appears to solved.

Bio-Duck Sound In Southern Ocean Revealed To Be Whales.

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