Humpback whale calf suckling

Humpback whale calf suckling

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Credit: ALEXIS ROSENFELD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) mother suckling her calf (centre left). Calves are four to five metres long when they are born and they suckle for about five months. The humpback whale gives birth in winter in shallow tropical waters, but cannot feed there, so it spends the rest of the year in cold polar waters, where its prey of krill and small shoaling fish are abundant. It can reach a length of over 16 metres, and females are larger than males. It lives in groups of less than ten, although groups may merge at feeding and breeding grounds. Photographed off Rurutu Island in the Australes Archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean.

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Keywords: animal, australes archipelago, baby, biological, biology, blue, calf, care, cetacean, duo, family, fauna, feeding, humpback whale, mammal, marine, meal, megaptera novaeangliae, mother, nature, nursing, pacific ocean, pair, parent, parental, reproduction, rurutu, south pacific, suckling, tropical, two, underwater, whale, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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