Madeira News: off the Calheta coast: ´The cheetahs of the deep sea´





“A new study has revealed that pilot whales are “the cheetahs of the deep sea,” making 15-minute, high-speed, all-or-nothing dives up to 3,280 feet (1,000 meters) deep to chase and catch large squid, before surfacing to catch their breath.

“They make colossal dives and must come back exhausted,” said Natacha Aguilar de Soto, the study’s lead author. “They have to spend time at the surface catching their breath before undertaking a new sprint to catch prey.”

The pilot whales’ hunting tactics contrast with beaked whales, another family of similar-sized, deep-diving squid-eaters that ply nearby waters in the Canary Islands, a research team involving scientists in three countries reported online in the Journal of Animal Ecology.”



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