Humpback whale - Wikipedia
About humpback whales arrive on Stellwagen Bank, a newly designated the Arctic and Antarctic, where they feed for months on the rich supply of krill . The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is a species of baleen whale. One of the . Longer-term relationships between pairs or small groups, lasting months or even years, have rarely been observed. Some females . Humpbacks have a 3 m ( ft), heart-shaped to bushy blow through the blowholes. They do not. Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) friendly cow and calf, Maui, humpbacks do give birth during the migration and winter months in Hawaii: 1. In Hawaii, observations of tiny calves with folded dorsal fins and crease marks ( clearly within days if not hours of birth) are common; 3. The Mom/Calf Relationship.
Whales in the southern hemisphere tend to have larger areas of white than those living in the northern hemisphere. An adult male can measure 40 - 48 feet 12 - Adult females are a bit larger measuring 45 - 50 feet Weight ranges from 25 to 40 tons. Humpback whales have the largest flippers of any whale. These flippers range from all white to black and can be one-third of the whale's body length.
Often times, barnacles can be seen growing on the flippers. A small dorsal fin is located about two-thirds back on the whale's body and the tail can grow to be 18 feet 5.
Back to the top Behavior Humpback whales travel in pods, or groups, of 2 - 15 individuals. Often these groups are temporary, meaning they stay together for only a short amount of time. The only exception to this is the mother and newborn calf relationship.
KDE Santa Barbara
Mothers usually stay with their babies for about one year. Humpback whales are famous for their playful and acrobatic behavior. Humpback whales can often be seen breeching, leaping and flipper-slapping in the surface waters.
The purpose of this behavior is not known but some theories suggest this behavior may be used in communication and mating. Humpback whales are also known for the amazing "songs" they produce underwater. These songs are made up of complex sounds, very similar to a musical piece. The exact purpose of the humpback's songs is unknown. Some believe humpbacks sing to attract females, protect their territory or communicate.
An adult humpback whale's dive usually lasts about 10 - 15 minutes in length. They can hold their breath for 45 minutes or longer but dives of this length are not common. Back to the top Breeding and Reproduction A humpback becomes sexually mature between 4 and 8 years of age. The whales mate during the winter months in warm waters. A female is pregnant approximately months before she gives birth to a single baby calf.
The calf lives off of its mother's milk, drinking up to pounds 45 kg a day for a period of 5 to 7 months. The baby will stay by its mother's side for up to a year. A female usually bears one calf every 2 or 3 years. The average lifespan for a humpback is thought to be between 30 to 40 years. Studies of such incidents indicate that the phenomenon is species-wide and global, with incidents being recorded at various locations across the world.
This may be the first recorded incidence of humpback whales acting protectively over a human. Whale sound Spectrogram of humpback whale vocalizations: In this recording, the ethereal whale "songs" are heard before and after a set of communicative "clicks" in the middle. Recording of Humpback Whales singing and Clicking. Problems playing this file? Both male and female humpback whales vocalize, but only males produce the long, loud, complex "song" for which the species is famous.
Each song consists of several sounds in a low registervarying in amplitude and frequency and typically lasting from 10 to 20 minutes. Cetaceans have no vocal cords, instead, they produce sound via a larynx like structure found in the throat, the mechanism of which has not as of yet been clearly identified.
Whales do not have to exhale to produce sound. All North Atlantic humpbacks sing the same song, while those of the North Pacific sing a different song.
Each population's song changes slowly over a period of years without repeating. Only males sing, suggesting one purpose is to attract females. However, many of the whales observed to approach a singer are other males, often resulting in conflict.
Singing may, therefore, be a challenge to other males.
The stubby dorsal fin is visible soon after the blow exhalation when the whale surfaces, but disappears by the time the flukes emerge. They do not generally sleep at the surface, but they must continue to breathe.
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Possibly only half of their brain sleeps at one time, with one half managing the surface-blow-dive process without awakening the other half. These populations are distinct. Although the species has cosmopolitan distribution and is usually not considered to cross the equator line, seasonal observations at Cape Verde suggest possible interactions among populations from both hemispheres. Whales were once uncommon in the Mediterranean and the Baltic Seabut have increased their presence in both waters as global populations have recovered.
Recent increases within the Mediterranean basin, including re-sightings, indicate that more whales may migrate into the inland sea in the future, not only for wintering but also for feeding. Breeding occurs in the Caribbean and Cape Verde. Comparison of songs between those at Cape Lopez and Abrolhos Archipelago indicate that trans-Atlantic mixings between western and southeastern populations occur. Identified by their unique tail patterns, these animals made the longest documented mammalian migration.
These two populations are distinct, with only a few females in each generation crossing between the two groups.