GLOW-IN-THE-DARK PRINTSBE INSPIRED

Whale

REFLECTION by Biripi Creator Michael Scarrott
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The Gathang word commonly used for Whale is Gaan.

Whales are ancient creatures having descended from land roaming mammals over 40 million years ago and are distant cousins to the present day hippopotamus. Intelligent creatures, they took to the sea millennia ago and have since flourished as the oceans have grown in abundance, diversifying into many species with various wide ranging attributes. 

Whales are in fact the largest creatures known to have ever existed on planet Earth. The humpback whale species in particular, as shown, while certainly not the largest, still grows to be around the size of a school bus. This species lives from around 50 up to 100 years. 

The gentle giants of the sea roam the oceans, feeding on krill and small fish in the abundant polar waters. They migrate thousands of kilometres to warm waters, using their fat reserves, to give birth and raise their young. 

Humpbacks have developed highly advanced communication skills and use them to transfer knowledge to their kin, to socialise and to hunt prey. Both sexes use vocalisation, via a larynx structure, without the need for exhalation. Family groups have their own distinct songs that males sing, which can be heard miles away. They coordinate their hunting using various techniques, including encircling fishes with bubbles. 

They give birth to live young which they protect from their predators the great white shark and killer whale. 

Humpbacks have been observed interacting with other creatures including dolphins (to which they are distantly related) and other whale species. There have been a number of reports of humpback whales intervening to protect other species, including humans, from harm. 

To me this compassionate creature reveals the power of the living connection to culture and community. This species has thrived by supporting each other, sharing knowledge through creative expression and being there for others when needed. An extraordinary example of wisdom and stewardship to be admired. 

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Michael Scarrott

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References and information:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humpback_whale

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/facts/humpback-whale

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