Calf Mimic and Humpback Feeding

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A humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)  mother-calf pod filmed near Merimbula, southeastern New South Wales (Australia), on 16 October 2005. The calf can be seen rising vertically out of the water twice, each time opening and closing its mouth with the ventral pleats partially extended. The mother then performs a lateral feeding lunge with calf rising and blowing beside her. The calf’s behavior appears to be an attempt at mimicking its mother lateral lunge feeding. This type of vertical rise, with mouth opening and closing, was observed by this calf 19 times over a 75-minute observation period. The mother performed 39 lateral feeding lunges during the same observation period.


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This video presents a humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) with its mouth open at 90oskimming the surface of the water while feeding on jack mackerel (Trachurus declivis). Filmed near Narooma, southeastern New South Wales (Australia), on 7 October 2005.

Stamation, K. A., Croft, D. B., Shaughnessy, P. D., & Waples, K. A. (2007). Observations of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) feeding during their southward migration along the coast of southeastern New South Wales, Australia: Identification of a possible supplemental feeding ground. Aquatic Mammals, 33, 165-174.