Humpback Whale Calf

Humpback baby whales are one of those water gigants, that in their hugeness still show the tender, fragil freshness characterist in any and all young animal species.

A baby Humpback will usually surface 4-6 times before you see the mom surface to breath. There are exceptions to this rule as a few females will feed their calves by remaining motionless in an upright position with their tail in the air while the calf feeds under water though this type of feeding position is relatively rare.

A baby Humpback whale will consume around 200+ litres of milk per day. You can identify a feeding calf because the female Humpback usually stays underwater while the calf returns to the surface every few minutes to breath between feeding.

Humpback Whales are mammals so the calf must drink it’s mothers milk from birth. The female Humpback Whales milk is rich in fat with up to 60% of the milk being fat. This ensures the calf puts on weight quickly for it’s long trip back to Antartica.

The calf is brought to the surface by the female for it’s first breath of air and from then on begins to swim and begins the learning process. It is not long before the calf is head lunging and taking it’s first look around.

A Humpback Whale calf is between 10 and 15 feet in length when born and weighs up to 1 ton. The characteristic barnacles under the chin are, of course, not there so a newborn calf is a perfect specimen.

Some female Humpback Moms prefer to stay away from whale watching vessels with their calves while others appear to enjoy showing off their calf to the boat. Mom whales have actually been seen  seemingly lift their calf out of the water on their head and back right in front of a boat.

Baby Humpback whale calves have been seen crossing the mothers head when a male Humpback whale approaches. The female Humpback will usually place herself between the approaching male and her calf.

Respect and protection to these wonderful gigants in nature, should be human beings’ interest. They are so much part of our world, as we are part of theirs, even if we don’t realize it.

 

 

 

 

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