Young whales are fed on milk, like the young of other animals. Because the teats of the females are on the under the surface of the body near the rear end, for a long time it was a mystery how the young whale, which breathes air, could procure a meal without drowning.
It is now known that at feeding time the huge mother rolls over on her side to bring the nipples close to the surface of the water. The young whale then grasps one of the nipples in its mouth, its nostrils remaining above the water. Special muscles pump the milk down its throat, which relieves it of the pulling effort that the human infant must exert.