Observations of cetacean births are rare as well as are reports of the mother and calf behaviors immediately after birth. Scientists have observed the births of just five species in the wild: Orcas, sperm whales, belugas, false orcas and grey whales.
The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is the most studied baleen in the world, however no birth has ever been witnessed.
The birth of a humpback was described on the coast of Barra Grande, Bahia, northeastern of Brazil, was observed on August 2007, and published in 2011, but available online recently just in 2014. and is probably, the first record of a birth in this species.
However the area does not represent the main breeding concentration of humpback whales of this population and is characterized by a narrow continental shelf, instead of the wide continental shelf observed in the Abrolhos Bank.
- Photo: Stain of blood in the water soon after birth of the humpback.
- Photo: A piece of tissue, probably the placenta, floating a few meters from the mother and the calf.
- Photo: The calf and its color pattern.