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humpbackwhale.jpga unique visualization method that is capable of representing the underwater behavior of large marine mammals. the ribbon's center is the pseudo-track center tracing the whale's movements in time. it is twisted around the along-track direction to show roll behavior. a pattern of chevrons on the top surface of the ribbon reveals travel direction & gives an additional orientation cue. the sawtooth's amplitude on top of the ribbon reveals the amount of angular acceleration at any given instant. this visual representation reveals several interesting behaviors regarding swimming & foraging patterns, such as energy conservation & so-called bubble-net feeding (the whale swims in a circle at about 30 meters depth emitting bubbles from its blow hole. the bubbles form a net containing the fish and the whale then lunges up with its mouth open to engulf the trapped fish).
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images & text excerpts from Colin Ware, Roland Arsenault, Matthew Plumlee, David Wiley, Stellwagen Bank, Visualizing the Underwater Behavior of Humpback Whales, IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, July/August 2006, pp.14-18.