Australian scientists find whale kindergarten
Aug 12, 2008, 10:13 GMT
Sydney - Around 600 humpback whales have set up a kindergarten in a sheltered bay on Australia's west coast, marine scientists said Tuesday.
The cove is in the warm waters of Camden Sound, 180 kilometres north of Derby.
'It's a natural maternity ward, the place where mothers teach their calves how to feed and how to utilize the tides and currents,' Marine Science Institution chief executive Steve Blake told the national broadcaster ABC.
He said an abundance of squid and shrimp, plus a natural amphitheatre that allowed the whales' sonar to bounce off the coast and surrounding islands, had made Camden Sound an ideal nursery.
'The most spectacular thing I saw was a calf practicing breaching as if it was an adult - just like a kid would do at a playground,' he said.
In Australia, as elsewhere, humpback numbers are rising. The population was endangered in the 1970s, prompting most countries to abide by an international convention banning commercial whaling.