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A Whale of a Tail #cute #animals #travel

Humpback Whale

This photo of a breaching humpback whale was taken in Alaska a few years ago. The humpback whales are amazing creatures and can be very curious, coming right up to the boat and doing lots of spyhopping to see what the strange humans are doing. I’ve been lucky enough to see them in the Southern hemisphere as well, and highly recommend the experience should you ever get a chance to go whale watching.

Sea of Change: 13 Facts About Killer Whales

Thursday Thirteen

This week, my latest book went live at most online retailers. Sea of Change is a paranormal shifter romance featuring orcas.

Thirteen Facts About Killer Whales

1. The killer whale is also known as an orca.

2. They are a toothed whale and are actually the largest members of the dolphin family.

3. They are a mammal and eat a carnivore diet. (fish, seabirds, squid, seals and other whales)

4. They can live up to 80 years in the wild. The females usually live longer than the males.

5. The killer whale lives in a pod of family members, and these pods can contain as many as 40 orca.

6. Killer whales can be divided into resident pods and transient pods, a fact I used in my Sea of Change story.

7. Resident pods tend to frequent one area while transient pods have much larger territories.

8. The pod members work together to hunt for food.

9. Each pod communicates in a distinctive manner using echolocation.

10. Female orcas give birth every three to ten years and the pregnancy lasts for 15 – 18 months. The mother nurses the calf for at least a year.

11. The killer whale has very distinctive black and white coloring. They are intelligent and acrobatic, frequently breaching, spyhopping and slapping their flippers.

12. It’s easy to tell the difference between the male and female. The males are longer and bulkier. Their dorsal fins are much larger, reaching higher than a metre in height.

13. Sea of Change

Sea of Change by Shelley Munro

BLURB:

A sexy face in the crowd…

Orca shifter Asia Bolino can’t believe the gorgeous cutie is Roman Anderson. They belong to enemy tribes, but she’d love to run her fingers over his…assets. Roman doesn’t recognize her, and in a moment of weakness, Asia agrees to a late-night date, a little forbidden pleasure.

Someone attacks Roman while he waits for Asia. Aware of his shifter status, Asia does the only thing she can—she takes him back to her apartment. The problem is when he regains consciousness, he thinks they’re married. He parades around her apartment wearing nothing but a smile, and Asia is weak. She succumbs to his charm and skilful loving. Hip-deep in lies, she’s aware the sensual bubble might burst at any moment. That might mean bloodshed, and she can’t allow that to happen. Worse, Roman doesn’t seem to recall he’s a shifter.

Asia struggles with guilt while melting at Roman’s touch. Nothing can come of their relationship, and now it seems someone knows the truth and they’re both in danger.

Order at: Amazon| All Romance ebooks| iBooks US| iBooks NZ| Kobo| Barnes & Noble

Sources: National Geographic.com and Department of Conservation, New Zealand

Thirteen Favorite Animal Encounters

Thursday Thirteen

Regular visitors to my blog will know how much I enjoy travel. When the travel is combined with seeing animals in their natural habitat, I’m there because there is something very special about viewing animals on their home turf.

Here are some of my favorite animal encounters:

Thirteen Favorite and Memorable Animal Encounters

1. Camel – I like camels, and I’ve met quite a few during my travels through the Middle East and Asia, but my favorite meeting was in Egypt. We met up with a herd of camels consisting of mothers and juveniles. Once we mounted our camels, we ambled along with the rest of the herd. It was fun and relaxing. This juvenile camel was very curious and wanted to investigate me at close quarters.

Shell's Camel, Egypt 

2. Giraffe – During a visit to Kenya we visited a giraffe reserve, not far from Nairobi. There you can feed the giraffes and observe them at close quarters. I’ll never forget their abrasive tongues and the feel of giraffe slobber. It was a fun visit!

Giraffe_nairobi

3. Whale – I’ve been whale watching in lots of different locations including Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Alaska and Maine. These huge creatures are majestic, and it’s always thrilling to see them in person. This photo of a sperm whale was taken near Kaikoura in New Zealand.

Sperm Whale

4. Baboon – We stayed in cabins in Uganda, and they had a small shop where they sold chocolate including Mars bars. The local kids selling slingshots at the gate should have clued us in. Those baboons went around in gangs, and the animals actually mugged some of the people in our group and stole their Mars bars.

5. Dolphin – I went for a day trip from Auckland to dolphin watch. Once we found the dolphins we spent ages watching them play and surf the bow water.

6. Alpaca – These guys just have so much character. I’d love to own one of these. I guess I need to get some land first.

ChattyAlpaca

7. Moose – Hubby and I came across a queue of cars when we were driving through the Grand Teton area. They had stopped to check out this bull moose that was calmly grazing while tourists clicked photos.

GrandTeton_moose

8. Rhino – When we visited Chitwan National Park in Nepal, we were privileged to see this rhino and baby. It was worth crawling out of our beds early in the morning.

Rhino & baby, Chitwan National Park

9. Snake – We don’t have snakes in New Zealand so any encounter is memorable. Hubby was playing a round of golf on Lindeman Island, which is in the Whitsunday group in Australia. We’d been told there were no snakes on the island. Someone should have told the snake I almost stood on while striding down the fairway! I started looking where I was walking after that.

10. Takahe – It was thought the takahe, one of New Zealand’s native flightless birds was extinct but they were rediscovered in 1945. They’re still very endangered, and are now mostly on offshore islands, which are pest free.

Takahe

11. Elephants – we’ve seen elephants in Africa and also in Asia. They’re such cool creatures. This photo of the baby elephant was taken in Kenya.

Baby elephant, kenya

12. Panda – We visited China two years ago. I wanted  to walk on the Great Wall, see the terracotta soldiers and visit the panda. Not only did I see the panda, I got to hold one. The money raised from tourists goes back into the care and research of pandas. It was worth every dollar.

Panda Shelley

13. Gorilla – My number one animal encounter was with gorillas in Rwanda. I cannot begin to express how magical this was but can still feel the awe and excitement as I watched these animals in the wild. I have an essay about our gorilla encounter on my website.

Gorilla, Rwanda

Do you have a memorable animal encounter to share?