- Grow to 60 feet long
- Up to 48 tons
- Live to 50 years
- Swim with large fluke/tail fin
- Are some of the most recognized whales
- Huge flippers-almost one-third of body size
- Hump on their back is also recognizable, thus the name
- Gray or black color & have white markings on their back
- Markings are unique, differ in each whale=whales can be identified
Surfer Almost Swallowed by Whale
Save the Humpback Whale!
- Are baleen whales, meaning they filter fish
- Two rows of baleen plates on their jaws filter water for food
- Diet is mainly small fish and krill
- Sometimes use bubble netting, a type of fishing. The whales blow bubbles around a school of fish, and they eat the fish, which move closer and closer together, making for an easy catch.
Humpback whale feeding
Traditional breach-and-eat feeding.
A pod of humpbacks going for the fish.
Humpback has a bird in it's mouth while feeding.
- Well adapted for ocean going
- Streamlined bodies
- Long pectoral fins
- Fifteen-foot wide tail fin
- Torpedo-shaped bodies,large size=keep body heat
- Flexing jaws help them get the most food
- When diving for 10-15 minutes, metabolism decreases so they consume less oxygen.
Reasons for Endangerment/Critical Facts
- Humpback whales face a number of survival challenges.
- Can be struck by ships
- Get entangled in fishing gear (during migration)
- Whale-watching vessels may stress/strike whales
- Use of marine areas displace whales that would be there
- Humpback whales are now increasing in abundance
- North pacific population went from 1,400 whales (1966) to 20,000 (2010)
- Several things are being done to help it
- By-catch (entanglement in nets) is being reduced
- Whale watch vessels are being educated on safety
- Marine animal take reductions
- Research whale abundance and population trends