While trying to study the different groups of humpback whales off the Gold Coast, Australia, the researchers witnessed an amazing sight: a spa session between whales. Dr. Olaf Meinecke, of Griffith University, explains in the journal Marine science and engineering Individuals were fitted with small cameras on their backs during the southward migration seasons of late 2021 and 2022. One camera captured five individuals rolling in the sand on the sea floor, in order to scratch their skin, shed parasites, and interact with determinants.
“They were doing these weird twists, back and side, Marine biologist explains guardian. You can actually see the skin peel off. And then some Pisces He came and ate it. They really ate the skin right on whale, not just floating skin. If the skin remains long, barnacles (small crustacean, editor’s note) can cling. Obviously, as long as it’s small, it’s easy to remove. But once you get older, it’s hard for Pisces to remove them. It can get really big and heavy. It’s not a good idea for whales to put them on their bodies because it affects their movement.”
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According to the expert, the area where the behavior was observed would have an ideal mix of sand and fine aggregate, to aid in the moulting process.
Fun time with friends
But the video also revealed another secret. According to Olaf Meinecke, the photos show that whales, just like humans, are taking advantage of their time at the spa to spend quality time with their friends.
“The five animals were doing it in a very similar context, in a social context. We had two whales swimming together for several hours. They obviously had a very good relationship, they just rolled around on land together, had a great time.”
Olaf Meinecke concluded, noting that he will use this year’s southward migration to search for more evidence of the same behavior and to obtain sediment samples.
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