It's like The Bachelor - but underwater

DID you know that male whales looking for love are called "bachelors" too, and are often found in "bachelor pods".

That's right: Sam Wood isn't the only bachelor wooing eligible females this winter, with the waters off the NSW coastline full of bachelors looking for love - and having a whale of a time while they're at it.

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service marine mammal expert, Lawrence Orel,  said the whale migration has a number of parallels with the popular reality TV show The Bachelor starting with the parallel naming.

"Whale migration season brings with it a series of romantic gestures and acts of oceanic chivalry as whales journey to warm northern waters to find female whales and achieve the ultimate bachelor fairytale ending- a whale calf," Mr Orel said

In a strategy not dissimilar to human courting rituals, humpback "bachelors" will sing out for a potential partner with a song that can last for several hours and can be heard hundreds of kilometres away.

"In true Shakespearian fashion, humpback bachelors are also known to fight for access to females with unsuccessful males grouping together to form 'bachelor pods,'" he said.

Once the final rose has been handed to their leading ladies and in an act of chivalry, our humpback bachelors are known to escort their new partner and calf through the dangerous waters back to Antarctica.

"Call it an act of love or a pragmatic approach of safety in numbers- our male whales will help train their offspring to warn off predators and accompany their new entourage back to Antarctic waters for feeding," Mr Orel said.

Mating takes place every two to three years for a female whale as her gestation period lasts between 10 and 14 months.

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