Kelp Gull attacks have taken their toll on southern right whales over the last four decades – in particular, their calves – which the gulls routinely gouge in the back to feed off their skin and blubber. Now researchers are wondering if the wounds the birds cause are contributing to the increasing mortality rate of these majestic whales.
What's causing the mortality spike of right whales, particularly the very young? Until now, scientists were unsure what was causing such a spike in mortality, but a recent NOAA analysis suggests toxic algal blooms may be to blame.
It's hard to believe that anything can bother the southern right whale. Fifty feet long and weighing up to a stunning 60 tons, this behemoth of our southern oceans has no known natural predators. However, that doesn't save it from some intense bullying by your everyday seagulls, of all things.