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How Drones Are Helping Scientists Study the Future of Whales

"Researchers at Ocean Alliance, a nonprofit dedicated to conservation efforts, are using drones capture the breathtaking image with aerial photography — as well as the genetic material in petri dishes.

Ocean Alliance created the "Snotbot," a drone they designed to capture both images of the whales and live biological samples of the "snot" the animals exhale through their blow holes. The team mounted petri dishes to the drone's base so that when the drone hovers above a breaching whale, the propellers create a vortex. This pushes the whale's spray down into the sample trays."

GWC's Michael Fishbach will be hosting the Ocean Alliance SnotBot team as it collects Blue whale samples in Mexico this winter.

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