Drone-based Infrared Thermography to Evaluate the Health and Physiology of Large Whales: Not Just Hot Air!

Hosted By: Drone Working Group
Date: April 27, 1:00 pm

Baleen whales are known for their massive size and cryptic underwater lives, making them difficult subjects for health assessments.  As a result, scientists lack baseline information on certain metrics of whale health, such as internal body temperature.  Rather than catching whales and sticking thermometers in their mouths, colleagues and I have developed a less invasive protocol that uses drone-based infrared thermography (IRT) to obtain absolute temperatures of whale blowholes, so we can start asking questions like: Do whales get fevers or experience hypothermia, due to injury, disease, or the loss of insulative blubber?  In addition to this quantitative measure of health, drone-based IRT is offering new insight into other aspects of the thermal physiology of large whales, which Gina is excited to discuss with attendees at this upcoming TWS webinar.

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