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Slideshow: Disneynature’s ‘earth’

February 5th, 2009

(c) BBC Worldwide Ltd. All rights reserved.

Humpback whales are singers: their songs can last up to 10 minutes. Why or how humpback’s sing is unknown, though it is possible it is related to communication and, in breeding season, to mating.

Humpback whale facts

  • The humpback whales in the film migrate 4,000 miles from the warm waters of the tropics to the waters off Antarctica where they feed on krill and small fish.
  • To avoid getting separated and losing track of each other, mother grey whale and calf keep in contact by slapping their fins on the surface of the water.
  • Humpbacks sometimes feed on krill cooperatively using a method call “bubble netting.” A group of whales emit bubbles in a circle, which herds the krill together and forces them towards the surface at the center of the circle, making it easy for the whales to feed.
  • Humpback whales’ very small eyes help them withstand the pressure of a deep sea dive.
  • Instead of teeth, a humpback whale has approximately 330 pairs of baleen plates, or fine brush-like structures, which strain krill from the water.
  • Humpback whale calves are able to swim within 30 minutes of being born. Calves drink about 160 gallons of milk a day.
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