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Circle of Life

Circle of Life
Photo Information
Copyright: Manyee Desandies (manyee) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2004-10
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon Powershot S1-IS
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Things to eat, Whales, Orca's, Sharks and Dolphins!, Feeding Time [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2005-05-22 3:58
Viewed: 4611
Points: 21
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
A blue whale had washed ashore on a nearby beach. We went to see it, drawn by the opportunity to lay eyes on one of Earth's most awesome (albeit dead) creatures. It was humbling to see... that even that most magnificent animal cannot escape... the circle of life.
Here you see one of the dozens of gulls picking on the underside of the gigantic carcass (see article).

Blue Whale
Balaenoptera musculus

STATUS: Endangered

DESCRIPTION: The blue whale is the largest animal ever to inhabit the Earth. This gentle giant has grayish- blue skin with light spots. It has about 300 to 400 baleen plates instead of teeth which it uses to strain food from the ocean water.

SIZE: Measuring 70 to 80 feet in length (the longest recorded length was 106 feet), blue whales can weigh as much as 90 to 150 tons. The female is larger than the male.

POPULATION: Estimated between 1,300 to 2,000, the population of blue whales is dangerously low.

LIFESPAN: The lifespan of a blue whale is estimated to be 80 years.

HABITAT: Blue whales are found throughout the world's oceans.

RANGE: Blue whales generally spend winters in temperate and subtropical zones, migrating toward the polar regions in spring and summer.

FOOD: A blue whale can eat up to 7,715 pounds of krill (small shrimp-like organisms) per day!

BEHAVIOR: Blue whales swim 14 miles per hour (with bursts as fast as 30 mph) and feed at depths of less than 330 feet (but can dive as deep as 1,640 feet). Dives last from 10 to 20 minutes. Usually they travel alone or in small groups of two to four, although off the coast of California some groups as large as 60 have been seen.

OFFSPRING: Sexual maturity is reached between 5 to 10 years. Females give birth every two to three years to one calf. Gestation lasts 10 to 12 months and the average calf is 23 feet long and weighs 4,440 pounds at birth. A calf is fed by its mother for seven to eight months.

HISTORY: Blue whales once were considered too difficult to hunt because of their speed and tremendous size. However, with the introduction of factory ships and the harpoon gun in the 1920s, blue whales were hunted intensively. By the 1960s they were nearly extinct.

THREATS: Blue whales face threats from entanglement in fishing nets, pollution, and illegal whaling.


Janice, coasties, ddg, scottevers7, marhowie, sway, diverjohn, sranjan has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Robbrown: Thanks for the suggestion.manyee 2 05-22 17:18
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2005-05-22 4:10]

Oh, how sad to see this massive mammal washed up on the shore Manyee. Here in NZ we sometimes get pods of smaller whales swim up onto our beaches as if they got their bearings all wrong. Then the call goes out for help and many go to try and get them back in the water. Very hard work. Thank you for showing this to us.

Hello Manyee

A sorry sight to behold, but we can't change the past or the lifecycle of nature. A vert apt image for this sight. Thank you.

Interesting shot Manyee,
It must have been quite a sight, and one I'm sure you'll only want to experience once.
Thanks for posting. good link, and an interesting article

Good capture Manyee and an interesting link, well worth posting, maybe you could add a full image of whale as a WS if you have it, even if it is a bit gruesome. TFS

  • Great 
  • ddg Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 867 W: 24 N: 1008] (5507)
  • [2005-05-22 6:23]

C'est magnifique Manyee ! Cadrage trés original toutes mes félicitations Didier.

I saw the miniature of the photo and somehow I knew that this is the dead whale, but I have no idea why, cause now it looks more like some kind of boat.
Very interesting shot of great value.
Well done!

An excellent capture depicting the cycles of life. Not always pretty. Great informative notes on your subject. Nice Work!

Very interesting shot Manyee, It must have been something to see (and smell!). I've seen in the news awhile back where there was unexplained mass beaching of pilot whales.. something to do with submarine sonar affecting them...TFS!

This is a sad but geat picture, Manyee.
It's a unique and interesting picture and a great note too.
Excellent work.

great image as a documentary type.
I like the way you placed the whale in the lower 2/3 of the frame to place emphasis on it, rather than putting the 2 birds in the upper 2/3.

Good POV, however I wish you had captured some more details of the whale too.
Regards-Dr Subhash Ranjan

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