News in Science reports:
Scientists have photographed a giant gas bubble emanating from a whale, suggesting that flatulence is just as common for ocean mammals as it is for humans and many other terrestrial animals.
The picture, released last week by scientists from the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) in Tasmania, was taken by the captain of a U.S. research ship the Nathaniel B. Palmer, while on expedition between Marguerite Bay and Palmer Station, Antarctica.
"The picture is of an Antarctic minke whale taken from the bow of a ship," said AAD principal research scientist Dr Nick Gales. "The white bits in the photo are pieces of ice-floe, the stream of pinky colour behind the whale is a faecal plume - a.k.a. "poo" - the large circle in the water is indeed the physical eruption of the whale's flatulence."