Radio Tracking of a Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus)

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Science  03 Nov 1978:
Vol. 202, Issue 4367, pp. 521-524
DOI: 10.1126/science.202.4367.521


A tagged whale of the genus Balaenoptera was intermittently tracked by radio for 27.8 hours over a distance of about 145 kilometers. Data on breathing and movement show that during that time the whale took 58 breaths in 130 minutes and traveled 20 kilometers at more than 9 kilometers per hour. Precise measurements of such parameters and of other features of the life history of great whales, which travel long distances over the high seas, often in groups, are now possible through radio tagging.