• Tue. Nov 24th, 2020

Mother sperm whale feeds its calf by injecting milk into the sea

ByHasan

Nov 7, 2020
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A photographer has captured incredible images of a huge sperm whale feeding her calf underwater.

Mike Korostelev, 38, from Moscow, was in the Indian Ocean when he captured the special encounter with the whales.

The stunning shots show the mother whale injecting milk into the water for her calf. They can both be then seen splashing their tales as they swim away.

Mike said: ‘It was big honour for me to be there and so close in that private moment of whales life.’

Sperm whales have inverted nipples so when the calf is ready to feed, they dive underneath their mother and nudge the mammary glands.

Once stimulated, the mother’s nipples emerge and milk is released into the water. The young calf then feeds on the milk directly from the water.

Research suggests that sperm whales feed on milk in this way because their mouths are not conveniently shaped to support suckling. The female sperm whales and their offspring usually gather in pods of up to 20 members.

A sperm whale feeds her young in the Indian Ocean by injecting milk into the sea
The milk can be seen being injected into the water and the calf rushing to feed on the nutritious milk
The mother whale was pictured feeding her young by a Russian photographer
The female sperm whales and their offspring usually gather in pods of up to 20 members
The sperm whales gather around as they swim in the Indian ocean
Mike Korostelev, 38, from Moscow, was in the Indian Ocean when he captured the special encounter with the whales 
A group of divers were able to watch the special encounter between mother and baby
Sperm whales have inverted inverted nipples so when the calf is ready to feed, they dive underneath their mother and nudge the mammary glands
The sperm whales are sociable creatures and form close bonds with their pod
Research suggests that sperm whales feed on milk in this way because their mouths are not conveniently shaped to support suckling
Above, the sperm whales gather in a group 
The pod of sperm whales can be seen swimming away from the divers
Sperm whales have a lifespan similar to humans, living to about 70 years
A diver is in awe as it spots the sperm whales in the Indian Ocean
The sperm whale appears to be smiling as it encounters a diver
The sperm whales dive down into the depths of the sea in a group
Estimates suggest that there are over 200,000 sperm whales alive today


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