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Humpback whales celebrate their own "Olympics" on the opposite side of the world

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BBC Photographs

BBC Photographs by Lawrence Morgan

Humpback Whales Glide Past Sydney, Australia

Let us not forget the animals. While the Olympics celebrate human striving towards the top at its very best, animals are sometimes forgotten. Yet right now, in the harbor of Sydney, there is an amazing show taking place. Thousands of whales cross Australia's east coast as they partake in a 10,000 km migration from Antartica to their tropical breeding grounds.

The whales can be seen from the city's beaches, cliffs and boats. This is an extraordinary view to see.

Will Ford, who is director of Whale Watching Sydney, states that their trek was delayed this year by the El Nino weather pattern. He states that "they start down in the Great Southern Ocean around Antartica, which is where their feeding grounds are in summer time, and over two or three months they will swim all the way from that area to the tropics.That is almost a quarter of the earth's circumference."

"The amazing thing is most of the whales won't eat on that whole migration, so they are doing it all basically on an empty stomach," states Ford.

Look at these wonderful pictures taken this week of the whales' migration in Sydney:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19179554

I have included a web site which gives more information on how whales live in the water:

http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/life/zoology/marine-life/whale.htm

Additionally, the following site gives examples of how humpback whales change their songs from year to year.

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/04/humpback-whale-song-2/

Don't forget to play the sound files - they give wonderful examples of the beauty of whales singing.

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