Want to see what an ultrasound scan of a pregnant whale looks like?
You’ve probably seen dozens of images from ultrasound scans from proud parents-to-be over the years – but have you ever seen one of a pregnant whale?
Mauyak, a 37-year-old beluga whale at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, recently became pregnant, and staff released a fascinating sonogram to go along with the news.
In the clip, the head of the whale foetus is clearly visible, along with the pectoral flipper.
“Mauyak is progressing beautifully, and our suite of veterinarians and beluga care team are working in sync to regularly check her and the developing calf,” said Steve Aibel, senior director of marine mammals at Shedd Aquarium.
“The beluga whales at Shedd allow people to discover and make connections with an incredible species that lives thousands of miles away, and this pregnancy is no exception.
“We are looking forward to bringing our guests with us every step of the way and sharing the wonder of beluga whale development.”
Mauyak, who is 11 foot long, has already given birth to calves in the aquarium, most recently Kimalu in 2012. She will remain on display to visitors at the aquarium’s Abbott Oceanarium exhibit as her pregnancy progresses.
The gestation period for a beluga whale is between 14 and 16 months. Mauyak is expected to give birth next summer.