ALEXIS ROSENFELD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ALEXIS ROSENFELD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) being watched by a snorkeler (centre left). A mother is swimming with her calf (bottom right). 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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