Incredible Rare Footage Of A Whale Nursing Her Calf Makes A Splash
Whale, look what was caught on film.
A flying drone captured rare footage of what scientists believe is a mother pigmy blue whale nursing her calf off the western coast of New Zealand.
According to National Geographic, Leigh Torres, the marine ecologist who made the discovery, was on a research vessel with her team when they spotted the pair on Feb. 5. They kept their distance as they launched a drone into the sky to film the floating duo.
“We had no idea they were [likely nursing] when we saw them from the vessel,” Torres told National Geographic. “But from the overhead perspective we could clearly see this coordinated behavior between mother and calf. It was beautiful to see.”
Torres believes that the calf is nursing based on the fact that the little guy keeps on alternating between coming up for gasps of air and swimming under his mom to suckle.
The pygmy blue whale is a subspecies of the blue whale but its existence was only discovered in 1966, according to The IUCN Red List, and information on the animal is scare. Though smaller than blue whales, which are typically 112 feet long, pygmy blue whales are still gigantic, measuring in at 89 feet long on average, according to “Whales and Dolphins of the World,” a book by Mark Simmonds.
According to Torres, even less is known about the animals’ breeding and nursing habits. But according to the above video this baby is about 4 to 6 months old, which means he may switch over to solid food soon.