Wily whales migrate in straight lines

Humpback whales follow extremely precise migration routes over enormous distances, in spite of sea currents and weather, new research shows.

The study, published in the Royal Society journal _Biology Letters _followed humpback whale migration routes in the South Atlantic and South Pacific seas between 2003 and 2010, where the beasts often travel thousands of kilometres for days.

“The whales studied here maintained these directed movements, the majority with better than 1 degree precision, despite the effects of variable sea-surface currents, weather events, magnetic field parameters and positions of the sun,” the report found.

However, the research did not reveal how the whales were able to do it.

“These extremely precise directional movements are difficult to reconcile with known magnetic and solar compass systems used by other animals,” the report said.

Read more at Biology Letters