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Drone Collects Whale Snot for Research in Alaska

These Drones were designed to collect whale snot by swooping into their waterspouts—all for the animals’ health. Parley, an ocean activist group, hovers over whales with the Parley SnotBot. During an expedition in Alaska, researchers collected samples of mucus the animals blew out. “The animal is blowing out all of this priceless information. From DNA, to the sex of the animal, to whether the animal’s pregnant, whether the animal’s stressed,” one researcher stated. Researchers say the technology allows them to collect high-quality data at a safe distance from wildlife in their natural habitat. The data helps people study and better understand whales. EarBot is another drone project Parley developed, which is being used to study whales acoustically. The waterproof tech captures sounds whales release underwater and transmits them to researchers. Ocean activists say both “bots” open doors to more in-depth studies and help us better understand how life on land and at sea coexist.

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