‘Kingdom of the Blue Whale’ to premier on Nat Geo Sunday

March 5th, 2009 - 8:47 pm ICT by IANS  

National GeographicNew Delhi, March 5 (IANS) They are the largest creatures to inhabit the planet, are larger than any of the great dinosaurs, yet few people have seen them. They deliver the world’s largest babies, but despite their immense size, most of the places where blue whales calve their young have remained mysterious.
The National Geographic Channel is now all set to demystify this by taking viewers into the “Kingdom of the Blue Whale” that premieres Sunday.

The two-hour film will also unveil the first underwater footage of a blue whale calf captured with the help of National Geographic Crittercam technology.

Speaking about the film, Rajesh Sheshadri, Nat Geo India’s senior vice president for content and communication, said: “We contribute to the National Geographic Society’s commitment to exploration, conservation and education through our unique and un-matched programming.

“We are proud to present ‘Kingdom of the Blue Whale’, a landmark initiative that opens a window into the world of the majestic blue whales,” Sheshadri added.

Experts say that in many places, blue whales are so rare that very little is known about them, except that their future is threatened.

Blue whales in the eastern North Pacific once numbered close to 10,000, but over a century of whaling took its toll. Even though hunting of blue whales has been banned since the 1960s, today, fewer than 2,000 blues are left in what was the largest-known concentration on Earth - the Antarctic.

In an effort to learn more about these behemoths and help to protect them, an international team of scientists supported by the National Geographic Society set out on an expedition to unlock the secrets of the blue whale and investigate why more are dying than ever before.

Tracking the scientists’ efforts, “Kingdom of the Blue Whale” offers breathtaking HD footage of these majestic animals. For instance, the imagery captured of mother and baby blue whale is stunning and poignant.

The baby blue whale - curious about its environment - swims towards the scientists’ research boat and passes just underneath the underwater photographers. Possible foetal folds still present on the youngster may prove that the calf is under one month old.

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