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Cambridge scientists study whale culture

A Humpback whale lobtailing Credit: Jennifer Allen/Ocean Alliance

Scientists at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge have shown how a new feeding technique has spread through a large group of whales in the Atlantic.

The technique, called ‘lobtail feeding’, involves the whales strike the surface of the water with their tails then blowing bubbles to catch fish.

A Humpback Whale feeding Credit: Jennifer Allen/Whale Center of New England

The new feeding behaviour has spread through cultural transmission, the same process used by humans and primates.

The researchers believe their results strengthen the case that whales and dolphins have evolved sophisticated cultural capacities.