Rare Find in Maui Waters: Presumed Humpback Whale Placenta

February 18, 2018, 6:16 AM HST · Updated February 18, 6:42 AM
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PC: Pacific Whale Foundation.

Pacific Whale Foundation’s Ocean Journey, on its first whalewatch of the day on Saturday, came across the rarest of finds — placenta in waters off Maui, presumed to be from a humpback whale.

Representatives with the Pacific Whale Foundation say it is generally accepted that humpback whales migrate to Hawaiʻi’s waters to breed and calve their young, “however an actual birth has not yet been documented. Humpback whale placenta would perhaps be the next best evidence of the birthing process taking place.”

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Scientists infer that the placenta is easily dislodged after the calf is born, and then simply floats away, according to the Pacific Whale Foundation.

Further details of the time, location and circumstances surrounding the discovery are still being determined.

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