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Mark Johnson with D-tag.

Back from the Deep

Mark Johnson, an engineer at WHOI, holds the "D-tag" , a non-invasive temporary tag he designed that attaches to a whale and records ambient sounds and the whale's motions as it dives. The tag then later pops off the whale and floats to the surface. Using such tags to study pilot whales in the Canary Islands, a research group including Johnson recently discovered that the whales behave like deep-sea cheetahs when they feed, performing high-speed sprints to depths of 1000 meters (3,280 feet) to catch prey.
(Photo courtesy of Mark Johnson, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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