What do whales eat?

By 2019 june

A team of researchers including Assoc. Prof. Rochelle Constantine and Prof. Mary Sewell from the University of Auckland, Dr Richard Newcomb from Plant and Food, Dr John Zeldis from NIWA and Dr Emma Carroll, Senior Research Fellow and Rutherford Discovery Fellow have spent more than two years collecting poo samples and zooplankton samples from Bryde’s Whales in the Hauraki Gulf. They then used a DNA “barcode” approach to identify different types of prey found in the whale poo. Prof. Constantine says “It’s important to discover which type of plankton the whales are eating because we know climate change is affecting plankton productivity. If the type of prey the whales eat becomes scarce in the Gulf, then the whales may move away. This has happened elsewhere in the world.”

The research paper was published in Nature.
You can read NZ Herald Jamie Morton’s article for an overview.
And Auckland University’s press release here.