Humpback whales

Humpback whales

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Credit: CHRISTOPHER SWANN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae). These whales are found in all the world's seas, spending the winter in shallow tropical waters and migrating to cooler polar oceans for the rest of the year. They can grow up to 15 metres in length and weigh 27 tonnes, with females being larger than males. They have up to 350 large bristly baleen plates hanging down from their jaws. They feed by swallowing sea water and then pressing their tongue against the plates, pushing the water out and trapping krill and fish. Humpback whales live in small groups of less than 10 individuals, although at feeding and breeding sites groups may merge. Photographed in the Sea of Cortes, Mexico.

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Keywords: animal, aquatic, baleen, biological, biology, carnivore, carnivorous, duo, fauna, humpback whale, mammal, marine, megaptera novaeangliae, mexico, nature, ocean, pair, rorqual, sea, sea of cortes, surface, swimming, two, underwater, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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