In Australia, found an unusual interspecific adoption of one whale by another

(ORDO NEWS) — Experts from Whale and Dolphin Conservation believe that the larger whale may have adopted the calf after it lost its real mother.

This case may be an extremely rare example of interspecies adoption, where an adult whale took on the role of a surrogate mother for an unrelated calf.

If this is an adoption, the most likely scenarios are that the humpback calf was separated from its mother or that its mother died before the calf was fully developed.

Unusual interspecies adoption of one whale by another found in Australia. Humpback calves usually stay with their mothers for the first 11 to 12 months of life, but an abandoned calf could have mistaken a baleen whale of the same size for its mother, researchers say.

However, according to experts, there may be other explanations. It is possible that the humpback whale has prematurely separated from its mother and is instead simply looking for other whales to follow. And in this case, the southern whale will not act as an active educator.

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