Photographer's Note

An early morning shot of an 18 metre giant sperm whale diving off the coast near Kaikoura. The whales dive for 45 minutes to an hour into the Kaikoura Canyon, a trench in the ocean floor that allows the whales to hunt at over a kilometre in depth.

Kaikoura's Sperm Whales are the biggest of the toothed whales and the worlds' largest carnivore. They are equivalent in size to four elephants and each of their teeth can weigh more than a kilogram and grow to 20cm in length. Sperm Whales dive into the dark abyss of the Kaikoura Canyon to hunt prey such as the Giant Squid.

Seeing a sperm whale was one of the highlights of my trip to New Zealand and it's a magical experience to see the fluke disappear below the surface. While waiting for the whales to appear, it also gave the chance to see albatros and other ocean birds, as well as dusky dolphins on the way back to Kaikoura.

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Additional Photos by Russell Standring (Standring) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 91 W: 30 N: 71] (596)
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