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Bryde’s whale lines up a sardine bait ball for lunch.

These whales consume an estimated 1300 – 1450lb (589 – 657kg) of food PER DAY, so if sardines max out at 0.6lb (0.3kg) each, one whale would have to eat a minimum of 2200 sardines to reach the low end of their daily intake.

Fortunately, sardines aren’t the only species on the bryde’s whales menu, they eat a variety of other food items including shrimp, krill, crabs and other schooling fishies like herring and mackerel.

These bait balls are formed when schooling fish feel threatened, and as a last ditch effort to save their skin they bunch up and try to keep themselves ensconced within the ball.

This creates a circulation effect as frightened fish are constantly cycling in and out of the sphere’s interior which makes the ball tighter as the predators advance and push them to the waters surface.

This strategy ends up working against the fish, as the commotion attracts more predators who aim to reduce the bait ball to open water once more.


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