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19     Newly Pregnant and Resting Females


ABOVE: 'Raindrop', named for the water-drop shape on her dorsal was seen in 1995 with another young female, 'Timantha', both whales were likely pregnant at the time as both were sighted with new calves in 1996. The calves were named 'Dewdrop' and 'Elmo'. 'Raindrop' was again sighted in 1997 amongst a group of young adults but there was no sign of 'Dewdrop'.

(Photo: Trish Franklin)

First in line are the newly pregnant females accompanied by the resting females. The newly pregnant females are intent on reaching the feeding grounds to consume as much krill as needed to prepare them for the birthing cycle.

This group may cross paths with the late pregnant females heading north to give birth in warmer waters.

At this stage of the reproductive cycle, pregnant females stay for approximately six months in Antarctica, longer than the rest of the humpback whale population.

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