Whale video shows rare footage

A rare video of a pilot whale expelling its placenta in Yell Sound has been released four years after it was originally taken. 

Drone pilot Nick McCaffrey didn’t realise how unique his footage was until he shared it with Emily Hague, a marine mammal researcher at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.

Mr McCaffrey said it “took him a moment” to realise how important his footage was but he knew he had “something significant”.

The footage shows the pod of whales “celebrating” the birth of a calf after the placenta has been expelled by the mother.

Ms Hague and Mr McCaffrey have now published the footage in the academic journal Aquatic Mammals and say the clip gives insight into the lives of pilot whales.

According to Marine Scotland, the long-finned pilot whale has a large, bulbous forehead and a long, robust body, which can measure up to 6.3 metres in length. 

Mr McCaffrey is part of the crew who filmed for the BBC series Wild Isles.


Add Your Comment

Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to editorial@shetlandtimes.co.uk for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.