Australia's white whale, Migaloo, may have albino offspring

Posted Jan 8, 2012 by Nancy Houser
A young albino humpback calf has been seen in Australia, looking pretty much like his albino dad, Migaloo. The little one is now called MJ, for Migaloo Junior, with mom looking like the average humpback whale.
Albino whale named  Migaloo . - Photo courtesy
Albino whale named 'Migaloo'. - Photo courtesy
Migaloo is thought to be the only known all-white humpback whale in the world. He was first seen on June 28, 1991, passing Byron Bay, which is Australia's most easterly point. Migaloo was three to five years of age when first seen, approximately 25 years old now. Humpback whales have a life expectancy of about 45-50 years.
A special whale from day one, Sunday Times reports that Migaloo has "special Queensland & Commonwealth Government legislation on a yearly basis to protect him from harassment." Jet-skis or any other water devisecan be no closer than 500m and aircraft can be no lower than 2,000 feet. If the law is broken, the fine is a hefty $16,500.
Last August, it was thought Migaloo was the white whale carcass found off Palm Island, near Townsville, Australia, which caused grave concern that the famous albino whale had died. But My Daily News reported that Whale Research Center founder Oskar Peterson said, "it's not Migaloo. There are black spots on the whale and Migaloo is 100 per cent white."
On Sunday, January 8, 2012, Migaloo and another male were seen north of Byron Bay, reported Robert Dalton from Whale Watching Byron Bay in Australia, to the online website Echo.
"They were joined by some other whales as they were passing Byron Bay and then all these whales made a sharp right hand turn and swam into the middle of the bay. These whales dispersed soon after though Migaloo hung around for about 30 minutes just south west of Julian Rocks interacting with the same whale we initially encountered him with."
The most exciting think going on in the area is that a 100% all-white little calf was first seen last fall with its normally marked mother along eastern Australia, with pink eyes and the inside of its mouth. The albino calf has been named MJ, or Migaloo Junior. A DNA has not been taken yet, but marine mammal experts say they consider little MJ a true albino.
The little whale is a rare genetic trait that is a spontaneously happening, not something genetically passed down from its parents, according to Australia's Narooma News.