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A Bio-Energetic Model for North Atlantic Right Whales: Locomotion, Anatomy and Diving Behavior
DUKE UNIV BEAUFORT NC MARINE LAB
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During this project, we investigated the physical forces that right whales experience in their marine environment and the biological adaptations of these whales to these forces. In comparison to locomotion in a terrestrial environment, energy for marine locomotion is predominately directed towards overcoming the forces of drag and buoyancy instead of the force of gravity. North Atlantic right whales Eubalaena glacialis have been characterized as slow-swimming cetaceans that trade off speed for power and therefore may use considerable amounts of energy to swim. We explored 1 the forces generated by swimming right whales during different behaviors, 2 how these forces vary with the morphological variation observed within and between right whale species, and 3 estimating whether changes in the behavioral dive budgets of these animals could increase their energetic requirements for locomotion.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE