20th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
White Calf

This photo depicts a white southern right whale calf, shot while snorkeling in Argentinian Patagonia under government permit. Due to a condition known as grey morphism, about 5% of southern right whale calves are born with white pigmentation. They are not albino, and they will turn darker as they age. Unfortunately, their white coloring makes them an easy target for seagulls, which land on whales' backs and gouge out skin and blubber with their beaks, sometimes killing calves.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 08.2022
Date Uploaded: 11.2022
Photo Location: Argentina
Camera: NIKON D850
Copyright: © Kat Zhou