A blue whale dives into water off the California coast. | Craig Hayslip, Oregon State University Marine Mammal Institute
Animals

Humans May Be Forcing ‘Right-Handed’ Whales to Act Like Lefties

Most blue whales are "right-handed," but new research finds they may be acting like lefties under challenging conditions caused by humans.

Published On 11/20/2017
6:00 PM EST
This video shows a fin whale off Terceira Island in the Azores lunge feeding on its right side. The stereotypy of this behavior can be seen in the roll data in the bottom graph. The cameras are 90 degrees offset from each other. | Kelp Marine Research
This video shows a blue whale in Monterey bay doing a vertical approach on a patch of krill concurrent with a 360 degree roll to the left. You can see the patch and sky rotate as the animal rotates. The camera views are forward and backward facing. | Ari Friedlaender
This video shows a blue whale off Southern California performs a high-pitch lunge with no roll until after the lunge when it rolls back to the dorsal-up position. | Ari Friedlaender