An Albatross Photographs a Killer Whale


Well, not really. The camera was attached to the back of the albatross in a study of how the birds feed alongside marine mammals at sea. Four birds got the cameras, but this one managed to snap a shot as they hovered over a killer whale at South Georgia in the Southern Ocean:

"The amazing pictures reveal albatrosses foraging in groups while at
sea collecting food for their chicks. It also provides the first
observation of an albatross feeding with a killer whale – a strategy
they may adopt for efficiency. The camera, developed by the National Institute for Polar Research
in Tokyo, is removed when the albatross returns to its breeding ground
after foraging trips. It is small (the size of a packet of polo mints*)
and weighs 82g. Although the camera slightly changes the aerodynamic
shape of the albatross, it didn't affect the breeding success of the
study birds."

Posted October 7, 2009 at 7:07am ETC by Andy Towle
in Nature, News