A BOATLOAD of tourists were eagerly scanning the water for whales when one of the playful creatures crept up and swam right underneath them.
The 26ft grey whale appeared as the boat sat stationary with the engine off — giving it a playful nudge as if to tell the visitors: ‘Here I am!’
The tourists rushed to peer over the side and catch a glimpse before the magnificent mammal went on its way.
The cheeky whale’s antics were caught on camera by a photographer on the lookout for another species known for wily ways — the coyote.
Jose Cheires had sent up a drone to take pictures of the animals near Adolfo Lopez Mateos port in Baja California Sur, Mexico.
He said: ‘I suddenly heard excited shouts and screams in the distance and the captain calling out.
‘So I flew my drone over the boat and captured the amazing moment.’
The 36-year-old, from Puebla state in Mexico, said he had heard about a whale that would come to the surface to play with tourists.
But he added: ‘I have never seen anything like this before. I was so excited when it happened, I thought things like this were just a myth.’
Whispers save calves from ocean killers
WHALE mothers and calves whisper to each other to avoid being overheard by predators, a study says.
Southern right whales, which can grow to 26ft long, shelter close together and call softly and infrequently to avoid attention, found researchers.
A team from Denmark’s Aarhus University and the University of Hawaii travelled to Flinders Bay off Western Australia, where the whales breed, and attached sound-recording tags to the calves and their mums.
‘One of the initial challenges was getting to know the whales,’ said Aarhus University’s Mia Nielsen.
The researchers found that instead of communicating continually, the mothers and calves called less than once per dive. And they were quiet enough to be drowned out within several hundred feet, making it difficult for killer whales to find them.
‘Low-amplitude calling reduces the risk of alerting eavesdropping killer whales to the location of the newborn calf,’ said the report, published in the Journal of Experimental Biology. ‘This may have evolved as an anti-predator strategy.’