Whale Birth on Video

Ok, so it has to do with birth, but not human birth.

It surprised me that the baby whale came out tail first. I knew that four-footed mammals are born feet-first (I suppose so that their necks don’t break from the drop — I’m picturing a standing giraffe dropping its newborn offspring headfirst — yikes!), but I didn’t realize that water mammals were born tail-first. Which means that if a whale is breech, then it comes out head-first!

Another point of interest is the gush of blood that comes out when the baby whale is born. Although it doesn’t look like that much at first (in comparing it to the size of the mama whale), it immediately disperses into a big cloud. That shows why many midwives prefer for a woman to get out of the tub pretty quickly after birth — it’s just hard to accurately judge how much blood is lost in the water.

I’m not sure what happened to the baby whale’s umbilical cord — did the mother bite it? did her violent wrenchings in the water break it? It’s just cool to see the way other mammals give birth. Here’s the link.

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