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Last Updated: Wednesday October 13 2010 05:21 GMT

Humpback whale travels record distance for a mammal

Humpback whale - NOT the one in the story!

A humpback whale has travelled the longest distance ever recorded for a mammal - scientists reckon it's swum across nearly a quarter of the globe!

They've worked out the female whale's journey was 6,200 miles long.

She was first spotted on the coast of Brazil in South America and then photographed two years later off the island of Madagascar in east Africa.

Scientists don't know whether the whale meant to make the long trip or if she just got lost!

Humpback whales are known for swimming long distances to find food and to breed.

The mammal had gone from one breeding area to another.

But it's males who normally go hunting for whales to mate with, so it's unusual for a female to travel so far.