Humpback whale

Two white whales sighted off Australia and New Zealand

White whales are very rare, but in the last couple of days there have been sightings off both New Zealand and Australia.

An adult white humpback whale, possibly the famous whale known as Migaloo, has been seen off the coast of Gisborne on New Zealand's North Island.

Meanwhile, off Lennox Head in New South Wales, a white whale calf was sighted by a passing paraglider. The mother of the calf has the usual dark colouration of a humpback whale.

Whales whisper to avoid attack

Most whales are known for their loud underwater calls that can reach across many miles of ocean, but scientists have revealed that newborn humpback whales and their mothers frequently whisper to each other as part of a defence mechanism against attack.

The study, by researchers from Denmark and Australia revealed unique, intimate forms of communication between mothers and calves thought to be used to avoid any potential predators like orcas from listening in, locating and then killing the calves

First underwater images of humpback whales in UK waters taken in Shetlands

Humpback whales have been regularly sighted in the waters around the British Isles in recent years, from Cornwall to Northern Scotland, and many of these sightings have been recorded with photographs. But until now, it is thought there has never been any underwater footage taken of these creatures in UK waters.

Now for the first time, two wildlife photographers, Richard Shucksmith and Brydon Thomason, have captured close-up images of whales that recently visited the Shetland Islands, north of mainland Scotland.

Are humpback whales saving seals from orca attacks?

It appears that we humans may not be the only ones that care about the welfare of others creatures. Global data being analysed by scientists seems to suggest that humpback whales are making a conscious effort to rescue other species, like seals, from attacks by orcas.

Although more scientific study needs to be done, there are now numerous reports of this kind of selfless activity by humpback whales.

Rare white whale spotted in New Zealand

A rare white (albino) humpback whale has been spotted off the coast of New Zealand. The New Zealand Department of Conservation (DoC) whale survey sighted the whale, thought to be one of just four in the world, in Cook Strait, between the North and South Islands. It is thought that the whale may be Migaloo, a humpback aged at least 24 whot has been sighted annually over several years off the east coast of Australia. A DNA sample will be able to confirm this.

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