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'Kingdom of the Blue Whale' to air Sunday night on National Geographic Channel

March 6, 2009 |  8:00 am

National Geographic's 'Kingdom of the blue whale'

Marine mammal enthusiasts on Sunday can journey to the wintering grounds of the planet's largest and perhaps its most majestic creature: the blue whale.

"Kingdom of the Blue Whale," which will air at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific time on the National Geographic Channel, will feature remarkable footage, including what is believed to be the first-ever underwater footage of a newborn blue whale, which is no minnow, measuring 25 feet. (See video below.)

The documentary will chronicle the efforts of scientists as they locate and tag blue whales off California -- where the mammals spend summer months -- and rejoin the graceful leviathans at the Costa Rica Dome far beyond the shore of the Central American nation.

These experts have spent years observing and filming courtship and feeding behavior of blue whales and part of their mission for the documentary is "to find and record the Holy Grail of blue whale science -- the breeding and calving grounds of the biggest mammals in the sea."

Also touched upon are the fairly recent vessel-strike fatalities of four blue whales in one season off California, and what can be done to help prevent these accidents in the future.

The show is a must-see for anyone interested in nature and its many wonders. Below is just a taste:

-- Pete Thomas

Photo courtesy of National Geographic Channel