Humpback whales

Humpback whales

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Credit: ALEXIS ROSENFELD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae). This is a calf (top) and its mother. The humpback whale has up to 350 large bristly baleen plates 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. A humpback whale 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. The whales are accompanied by remoras, which hang off them with dorsal fins modified into suckers, feeding on parasites and food scraps. Photographed in the Indian Ocean off Madagascar.

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Keywords: adult, animal, baleen, calf, calves, commensal, commensalism, diving, female, fish, humpback whale, indian ocean, largest living animal, madagascar, mammal, marine, megaptera novaeangliae, mother, nature, ocean, remora, remoras, school, sea, shoal, submerged, sucker, suckerfish, swimming, underwater, water, whales, wildlife, zoology

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