A trail of milk spreads in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Colombia as a whale calf detaches itself from its mother. He has just suckled the calf. According to the researchers, this is only the second time someone has captured such an intimate moment on camera.
The images were taken with a system that was installed with suction cups on the back of the 900 kg calf for just a few hours so as not to injure it. In addition to a camera, it also contained a GPS and a device for recording whale sounds. The scientists are very enthusiastic about the fact that they were able to record the diet on video in such a short time. “Despite decades of effort by thousands of researchers, hours of work, and countless collaborations, lactation records are extremely rare,” says biologist Natalia Botero. “This is important both for research and for the protection of humpback whales.”
Thousands of whales make the long journey (up to 5,000 miles) each year into the warm waters of the tropics to breed along the Pacific stretch from Costa Rica to Peru. From June to November, the humpback whales stay in the waters off the coast of Colombia. These giant whales can grow up to 17 meters long and weigh around 40 tons.
Source : HLN