A juvenile beluga whale swims beneath the tail of an adult whale in Cunningham Inlet on Somerset Island in the Canadian Arctic.
Female beluga whales come to this estuary region in summertime to give birth, rest and play with their newborn calves in the shallow water. It is like a beluga whale maternity ward and is unique within the whale world since here many moms and calves, sometime hundreds, gather in the same place at the same time. The whales here also use the gravel bottom as a natural loofa to rub off old skin.
Brian Skerry is a photojournalist and film producer specializing in marine wildlife and underwater environments. Since 1998 he has been a contributing photographer for National Geographic magazine, covering stories on every continent and in nearly every ocean habitat.He is currently at work on his 30th feature story for NGM.