F.S. WESTMORLAND / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY F.S. WESTMORLAND / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Humpback whale. Tail of a humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) at sunset. This whale often makes leaps out of the water and beats the surface with its tail, possibly as a form of communication. The humpback whale has numerous baleen plates, formed from bristles, hanging down from its jaws. It feeds by swallowing sea water and then pressing its tongue against the bristles, pushing the water out and trapping krill and fish. Fully grown, a humpback whale weighs around 27 tonnes and can reach 15 metres in length. It is found in deep water near coasts in all of the world's oceans. Photographed in the Inside Passage, south-eastern Alaska, USA.
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