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Whales - Madagascar

Whale, Ile Sainte Marie island. Madagascar. Baie d'Antongil bay is a quite sea-front place at the East side of Madagascar. Each year between July and September it becomes a favorite spot to watch whales. Hundreds of Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) are coming to the area from far Arctic Oceans to calves and breeds, and to stay there over the winter with the newborn calves. They are staying in the warm seas just a couple of months before they are returning to the chilly Antarctic Oceans.

Whale, Ile Sainte Marie island. Madagascar. The exact number of whales was not identified, but it is expected more than 1000 whales are coming to the area during the three summer months. Humpback Whales are pretty big. The adult whale are approximately 14 m (46') long (up to 18 m (59')) and weighing in average 30,000 kg (66,000 lb) (up to 48,000 kg (106,000 lb)). Nonetheless their size and weight, they are pretty swift and are well-known for their acrobatics. They are can perform several jumps: breaching (the whale jumps headfirst out of the water, twists in the air, and falls on its back with a tremendous splash), lobtailing (the tail is repeatedly slammed down), and flippering (one flipper slaps the surface). Itís fascinating. Even the scientists are not sure why the whales are doing the acrobatic. They assume the whales are trying to observe their surrounding and improve the orientation. Whales can also sing, Humpback Whales were observed singing up to one hour. The reason of that is also not clear, but itís most likely connected with mating rituals.

Whale, Ile Sainte Marie island. Madagascar. Because whales are mammals, mother stays close with the newborn child to can nurse it for the first 6 months. During nursing, they stay calm, donít move. It normally takes about one hour.

One of the best places to see whales in the island Ile Sainte Marie, where you can rent a boat to watch whales from closed distance. The island is east of Madagascar, about 500 km far from capital Antananarivo.



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