Whale Pump Graphic (image) University of Vermont Caption Huge blue whales plunge to 500 feet or deeper and feed on tiny krill. Then they return to the surface—and poop. This 'whale pump' provides many nutrients, in the form of feces, to support plankton growth. It's one of many examples of how whales maintain the health of oceans described in a new scientific paper by the University of Vermont's Joe Roman and nine other whale biologists from around the globe. Credit Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment Usage Restrictions with associated story Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.