Humpback Whale

Children play. Why? Because they have time to do what they want. In nature young animals also seem to play. They run around, jump, sometimes pick up things or do other things that seem to have no purpose. In nature ethologists always try to find a purpose behind different types of behavior. Most play in animals appears to be part of a learning process to prepare them for the future. Play fights strengthen their fighting skills which they might need to fend of predators or for fights over food or males. Or they can need it later when they have to search for their own food.

During our encounter with the Humpback Whales there was one mother and calf. This calf made the nicest show for us, breaching once (unfortunately too sudden for a picture) or slapping its tail like in this picture. Born half a year ago around the Azores, it should now be almost ready for a life on its own. A life where he might need many of the skills he practiced during his youth…

Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.

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