Humpback whale

Humpback whale

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Credit: ALEXIS ROSENFELD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Humpback whale. Close-up of the head of a humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae). Barnacles (brown) are seen growing on the whale's distinctive bumps. The humpback is a baleen whale: it has 350 large plates of baleen (an elastic, horn-like material) hanging down from its jaws. It feeds by swallowing sea water and then pressing its tongue against the plates, pushing the water out and trapping krill and fish. Humpback whales can reach around 27 tonnes in weight and 15 metres in length. It is found in deep water near coasts in all of the world's oceans. Photographed in the Indian Ocean, off Madagascar.

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Keywords: animal, baleen, barnacle, barnacles, head, humpback whale, indian ocean, largest living animal, madagascar, mammal, marine, megaptera novaeangliae, nature, sea, water, wildlife, zoology

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