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|02-08-2019 pm| Whale watching Tail slapping Sperm whales and dolphins in the Azores

Sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) are almost the whole year around the Azores, and they are daily observed with behaviors easily recognizable (feeding, transiting, resting, socializing).

This afternoon we observed an unsual behavior: tail slapping (i.e., action of slapping the tail against the surface of the water). As researchers, we can only hypothetize about the objective of this interesting observation, since several explanations are actually possible, the basis: communication, the splash produced creates a strong noise in the water. Having the tail as their strongest muscle, slapping generates intense acoustic vibrations underwater wich can reach down to 1000 meters where their relatives dive. Also it is an impressive display of strengh, wich can be understood by any sailor.

Below some of the pictures of the expedition. Members of the team: Dr. Zé Nuno and Captain Marco.


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