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Antarctic adventure: Researchers show incredible animals surrounded their boat

Antarctic adventure: Researchers show incredible animals surrounded their boat Collage by RBC-Ukraine

The polar researchers from the Akademik Vernadsky station shared that during one of their recent outings in the ocean, they had an incredible encounter. Specifically, their boat was surrounded by representatives of two different species of cetaceans, according to the National Antarctic Scientific Center of Ukraine.

What the Polar researchers saw

Biologist Svyatoslav Davydenko from the 29th Ukrainian Antarctic Expedition (UAE) stated that one group consisted of humpback whales, which are traditional for this region. Up to 8 adult animals were in this group. They surfaced, slapped their fins, and displayed other forms of communication.

"Among the humpbacks, there was a pod of orcas, encountering which near the Antarctic coast is a great fortune. There were up to 7 individuals. They were swiftly moving between the slower humpbacks, also surfacing and even breaching," the researchers reported.

They noted that these were type B1 orcas, which primarily feed on pinnipeds. It is likely they were looking for seals near the group of humpbacks, as seals are currently actively moving and may swim near the whales as if hiding among them.

Why the animals approached the boat

When the orcas noticed the boat with the polar researchers, they became curious, started swimming very close, and began examining the strange "creature." However, they eventually realized it was not a seal and not worth eating, so they went about their business.

During this encounter, the scientists managed to take photos and videos of the cetaceans, which will allow them to perform photo-identification of the animals. The information will be added to an international database, helping to learn more about the migrations and population status of cetaceans. Records of orcas during late autumn and winter are particularly valuable, as most research in this region is conducted during the warmer season.