Bubbles for Breakfast

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When you weigh 50 tons (45 metric tons) and haven’t had a full meal in months, you’re ready for some serious chow. Humpback whales live mostly off fat reserves throughout the winter, so when feeding time comes around, they eat up to 3,000 pounds (1,361 kg) a day.

But chasing down thousands of little fish one at a time would be a bit exhausting. Whales are smarter than that. Their ingenious solution is a highly coordinated roundup.

Up to a dozen whales join in the feast. When they find a school of tasty fish, each whale takes a distinct role. Some herd the fish into one area. Then a “ringleader” surrounds the school with a ring of bubbles. Confused, the fish clump together in the center of the ever-shrinking bubble net. Finally, a “caller” lets out a bellow from below, driving the tight ball of fish toward the surface.

With the table set, the whales surge upward together, mouths gaping, and break the surface at the same instant, taking thousands of herring hors d’oeuvres or salmon snacks at a gulp.

Our awesome Creator’s ingenuity shines in this spectacle of coordination and cooperation. He gave these majestic humpback whales the skills to work together and survive in a fallen world.

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