Top of the food chain

Seeing a Blue Whale is always something special. Even though this year isn’t the best season to see large whales around Spitsbergen, the last trip we were lucky enough to see several. The first was already when we were still in Isfjord, under very nice conditions.

One of the questions we often get is why these animals have grown so big. Just like the Orca or the Polar Bear, they are at the end of their food chain. But in contrast to these two animals, their food chain only consists of a few steps. Where Orca’s and Polar Bears have four steps or more ‘below’ them, Blue Whales only have two. This means less energy is lost, as with each step energy is lost, and more is available for the Blue Whales. This way there is enough food available for them, which allows them to grow to the size they are now.

 

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Blue Whale surfacing in Isfjord

 

Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.

One comment

  • Fantastic! On my recent visit to Spitsbergen, we saw two blue whales before we’d even lost sight of Longyearbyen! It was awesome.

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