Humpback Whale

The Humpback whale is one of the most majestic animals in the sea and the Humpback whale is one of the largest whales known to man. It came to be known as the Humpback whale because of the shape its back made when they breech the surface of the water. These whales can grow to be 52 feet long and can weigh anywhere between 30-50 tons. Speaking of large things, the humpback whale has the largest pair of flippers ever recorded. These flippers are up to one third of its body length. In fact, the genus of the Humpback “Megaptera” means “huge wings”. If you think that’s big, the females are larger than the males. The females grow to be around 50 ft while the males tend to be around 45 ft long. How do these whales get so big?

These whales feed on small fish, shrimp, and krill. These animals may seem too small for the liking of a whale one million times their size, but the fact is that they eat up to 1 ton of pounds of these small little animals. Also, instead of teeth, they have 200 to 400 plates that act like teeth, but are constructed like fingernails, and they’re black (someone needs a toothbrush). These plates help lock in food when the whale is expelling water. Basically, these whales have huge appetites, and no shrimp in the sea is safe.

Another interesting trait about the Humpback is its unrivalled singing ability. These beautiful songs are intended to attract potential mates and/or challenge other Humpbacks who might also be interested in the mate in question. They also use their voices when feeding. One would use his or her voice to scare the food to the surface, and then the whale eats the retreating fish. The whales also use their songs to express emotions, like sadness or happiness. Also these songs can be heard for miles under the sea. For example, if a whale makes a sound 100 miles of a coast, then it could be picked up by a receptor on the coast. The Humpbacks can also use these sounds for location purposes. Because it is hard to see under water, the whale uses these sounds to “see” where it is going and to tell where enemies or where food might be.

The humpback whale can be identified by its “tuff guy” build and its black dorsal fin. The long fins, as mentioned before, are black and white and have a specific pattern which distinguishes each whale apart (like fingerprints for us). Like us, they have their own little population and they migrate together each year. There is one group that always passes by Hawaii and has the longest migratory route ever recorded. There are two other groups identified in Australia and there is one in the Indian ocean, which does not migrate due to the northern border. Overall, humpback whales are one of the most unique species of whales known to man, they are one of the largest species, they sing beautiful songs, and they have huge appetites.

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  1. Pingback: Mr. Mohn's Biology Home Turf | Mammal Monday – Humpback Whale

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