Description: At AirVuz, we've brought you stories of several 'drone firsts'. This next one is huge- like 200 tons huge.
That's drone video- capturing a blue whale feeding. We caught up with Todd Chandler, who shot the amazing footage. While the video is cool- learning about the world's largest animal is the main goal. Researchers say among other things, they're finding out why- and when- they feed. They say since it takes so much energy for the 400 thousand pound animals to move, the whales make the decision to feed on a larger patch of krill- and avoid smaller ones.
And another area- studying the blue whale's sheer size. The whales being studied are in the Southern Ocean off New Zealand- but the research is U-S based. Chandler and the team work with the Marine Mammal Institute at Oregon State. He got his start flying drones for a port feasibility study.
The Institute uses Phantom 3 and 4 drones. Chandler says he sees drones as an essential part of their future research. Why is learning about the Blue Whale so important? National Geographic says heavy hunting until the 19-60s pushed them to the brink of extinction. Half a century later, their recovery has been slow.
The chance of more blue whale footage is pretty good... Drone technology continues to evolve- and the whales can live to about 90 years old.
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