June 26, 2009
Seagulls Eat Whales in Argentina
By Dave Hurteau
It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a pain in the blubber.
Whales off the coast of Argentina have been experiencing conflicts with seagulls lately over feeding. But it's not what you think. By pecking away at the blubber on whales, the birds have discovered a new way to get a free meal that's apparently easier than catching baitfish.
Attacks of this kind were first noticed about 35 years ago off the Peninsula Valdes, but studies show that 78 percent of whales are attacked this way today, up from 1 percent in 1974. The study shows that 80 percent of the attacks are on mother-calf pairs.