Ukrainian polar researchers spot humpbacks, orcas — video

The orcas near the Ukrainian Antarctic station, Akademik Vernadsky
The orcas near the Ukrainian Antarctic station, Akademik Vernadsky

Ukrainian polar researchers encountered over ten orcas and humpback whales during a recent boat excursion, the National Antarctic Scientific Center reported.

Read also: Fur seals and elephant seal visit Ukraine’s Antarctic station — photos

"One group consisted of the humpback whales, typical for this region. There were up to eight adult whales in this group,” biologist Svitozar Davydenko from the 29th Ukrainian Antarctic Expedition said.

“They peered out of the water, flapped their fins, and showed other forms of communication."

A pod of orcas was accompanying the humpbacks, which the researchers noted is a rare sight near the shores of Antarctica. The team counted up to seven orcas in the pod.

Read also: What’s summer like on Antarctica? Ukrainian researchers at Ukraine’s Vernadsky Base share photos

"These were Type B1 orcas, which primarily feed on pinnipeds,” Davydenko explained.

“They were likely checking for the presence of seals near the humpback group, as seals often swim close to whales, seemingly using them for protection."

The orcas showed interest in their boat and swam closer to investigate, the researchers noted.

Read also: Lazy penguin goes for a ride on its belly for UA scientists at Antarctic base – cute video

"During this encounter, the scientists managed to take photos and videos of the cetaceans, which will be used for photo-identification of the animals,” they wrote.

“This is part of a comprehensive marine mammal research program at the Ukrainian Antarctic station, Akademik Vernadsky."

This data will be added to an international database, aiding in the study of cetacean migration patterns and population status.

Read also: Russians kill innocent animals and shamelessly flaunt their deeds in photos - animal rights activists

We’re bringing the voice of Ukraine to the world. Support us with a one-time donation, or become a Patron!

Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine