Humpback Calves "Whisper" To Their Moms To Avoid Predators


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A mother and calf humpback whale swim in the Exmouth Gulf in Western Australia. Photo Credit:
Fredrik Christiansen/Functional Ecology

Every winter, hundreds of humpback whales migrate long distances from their high latitude feeding grounds in the Arctic and Antarctic to warmer tropical regions to breed and give birth. The newborn calves, which consume over 52 gallons of milk on a daily basis, have only a few months to pack on the body fat needed to survive the long trek back to cooler waters in summer. How the babies signal hunger and avoid predators during these formative months has always been a mystery to scientists.

“We know next to nothing about the early life stages of whales in the wild, but they are crucial for the calves’ survival during the long migration to their feeding grounds,” says study lead author Simone Videsen of the University of Aarhus, Denmark. "These early life stages of wild whales are so elusive because they're an aquatic animal. We can't follow them around all the time to see what they're doing."

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  • lpsbrooklyn13
    lpsbrooklyn13almost 3 years
    that's so impressive! animals are smarter than we think
    • trekover 3 years
      • Laps almost 4 years
        So much information
        • Unicorn1110about 4 years
          I love humpback whales
          • 654bcapabout 4 years
            So cute but I don't want to be near a baby whale
            • boopernoopsalmost 5 years
              the whale noises where hilarious
              • Graceabout 5 years
                • Lilly cuteabout 5 years
                  So cute 🐋☺️
                  • ADDabout 5 years
                    This is Add, I thank that the whales and the calves make there own noises that there mother know what they are talking about. It was also it was interesting how they tracked the whales down
                    • ggover 5 years