Monday, January 5, 2015

Water wings

The recent birth of a killer whale calf in one of 3 pods in the Puget Sound near Seattle, Washington, U.S., adds to the number of endangered southern resident orcas. It also incites speculation that the birth may have been assisted. The baby (ABOVE CENTER, SLIDESHOW HERE) exhibits scrapes on its dorsal fin that longtime researcher Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research suggests indicate that another orca helped deliver the baby by pulling it out of the womb with its teeth. The newborn is spending a lot of time with its grandmother, so Balcolmb reasons that she is babysitting to give the mother a break after having served as the orca midwife.

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