Humpback whale calf and mother

Humpback whale calf and mother

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Credit: ALEXIS ROSENFELD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Humpback whale calf and mother (Megaptera novaeangliae). They are accompanied by remoras (white), fish that ride on whales using dorsal fins adapted as suckers, and feed on parasites and food scraps. Humpback whales are born after a gestation period of a year and are weaned after 11 months. They have up to 350 large plates of baleen (a horn-like substance) hanging down from their jaws. They feed by using the plates to filter krill and fish out of the water. Adult humpbacks weigh around 27 tonnes and can reach 15 metres in length. They are found in deep coastal waters around the world. Photographed in the Indian Ocean off Madagascar.

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Keywords: animal, aquatic, baleen, calf, diving, fish, humpback whale, indian ocean, juvenile, largest living animal, madagascar, mammal, marine, megaptera novaeangliae, nature, remora, remoras, school, sea, shoal, suckerfish, underwater, wildlife, young, zoology

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