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Page last updated at 08:31 GMT, Friday, 23 October 2009 09:31 UK

Epic humpback whale battle filmed

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It is the greatest animal battle on the planet, and it has finally been caught on camera.

A BBC natural history crew has filmed the "humpback whale heat run", where 15m long, 40 tonne male whales fight it out to mate with even larger females.

During the first complete sequence of this behaviour ever captured, the male humpbacks swim at high speed behind the female, violently jostling for access.

The potentially deadly battle is filmed for the BBC natural history series Life.

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