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Orca seen foster parenting a pilot whale calf for first time

Saedís, an orca, with a long-finned pilot whale calf at her side

A long-finned pilot whale calf has been documented swimming behind the flipper of a female orca – in “echelon”, or the mother-and-calf position – for the first time. How the inter-species pair came together is unknown, leading researchers to wonder whether the calf was adopted or abducted.

In August 2021, a whale-watching tour near Snaefellsnes peninsula in West Iceland spotted a pod of three orcas with a surprise guest. Marie-Thérèse Mrusczok at the West Iceland Nature Research …

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