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Fun Facts About Humpback Whales

an animal swimming in the water

The humpback whale is one of the most fascinating creatures in the ocean. These gentle giants are known for their acrobatic displays and their amazing songs. Here are 10 interesting facts about humpback whales that you might not know!

Humpback Whales Are Some Of The Largest Ocean Creatures

Their average length is about 50 feet, and they can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Their size makes them a formidable predator, but they are also preyed upon by orcas and sharks. Orcas can be up to three times the size of humpback whales! Whereas some sharks can be as small as 12 inches long.

In spite of their size, humpback whales are gentle and curious creatures. They often approach boats and surf the waves created by them. Humpback whales are often knowns as the gentle giants of the sea.

Humpback Whales Are Known For Their Acrobatics

They often breach out of the water, and they can also spin and slap the surface with their fins. These whale behaviors may be used to show dominance or attract a mate.

Some of the moves humpback whales make include the:

  • Pectoral Slap: The whale slaps the surface of the water with its fins.
  • Tail Fluke Slap: The whale slaps the surface of the water with its tail fin.
  • Spyhop: The whale pops its head out of the water to get a better view of its surroundings.
  • Fin Slapping: The whale slaps the surface of the water with its fins.
  • Porpoising: The whale jumps out of the water and then dives back in.

These acrobatic displays are often called breaches, flipper slapping, and spy hops.

Humpback Whales Sing To Each Other

Humpback whales are also known for their amazing songs. These complex melodies can last for up to 20 minutes and be heard over great distances. Scientists are still unsure of the purpose of these songs, but they may serve as a way to communicate with other humpback whales.

In Hawaii, whale songs are considered an important part of the culture. Many people believe that the songs carry messages from the whales about their health and well-being. Some people even believe that whale songs can be used to heal emotional wounds. It’s also been said that whale songs helped guide ancient Polynesians to Hawaii.

Humpback whale songs are said to be the most complex of all songs in the animal kingdom. On your trip to Kauai, you may be lucky to hear one!

Humpback Whales Have Different Voices

This sounds insane, but humpback whales actually control their volume very carefully, adopting an “inside voice” when the situation calls for it. Whales produce a variety of sounds including moans, whistles, and clicks. These vocalizations are used to communicate with other whales, navigate their way around the ocean, and find food.

Each whale has its own unique voice that it uses to communicate with others. This is why scientists can tell individual humpback whales apart by their songs and sounds.

Humpback Whales Are Excellent Swimmers

They can reach speeds of up to 20 miles per hour and travel long distances. They use their tail fins to propel themselves through the water and their pectoral fins to steer. These beautiful creatures tend to swim in groups called pods. A pod can have up to 100 whales in it, and they often stay together for years.

They Migrate More Than 6,000 Miles Every Year

Humpback whales are migratory animals and they often travel thousands of miles each year. Their migration patterns are still being studied, but it is believed that they migrate in order to find food and avoid predators.

These gentle giants migrate to Hawaii to mate and give birth to their offspring. After spending the winter in Hawaii, they travel back to their feeding grounds in Alaska or Canada.

Humpback Whales Don’t Have Teeth

While humpback whales seem like they would have large teeth, they actually don’t have teeth at all. Instead, humpback whales have plates of baleen that they use to filter food from the water.

Baleen is made of keratin, which is the same material that your fingernails are made of. Humpback whales use their baleen plates to strain tiny shrimp-like creatures called krill from the water. They can eat up to one million krill per day!

If you’re lucky, you may be able to see a humpback whale feeding on krill in the ocean. It’s an amazing sight to behold!

Humpback Whales Carry Offspring For 12 Months

Unlike most mammals, humpback whales carry their babies for 12 months before giving birth. After a gestation period of about 12 months, the baby humpback whale is born. It will nurse from its mother for another year, and stay close to her until it is about five years old.

Humpback Whale Offspring Are HUGE

Humpback whale babies are HUGE compared to other baby animals. They weigh about two tons and can be 15-20 feet long. Sometimes, they’re as large as their mom’s head. It’s amazing that humpback whales can give birth to such large offspring. It shows how strong and powerful these creatures are!

Go Whale Watching With Kauai Sea Tours

Humpback whales are an amazing species with many interesting traits. Next time you’re in Hawaii, be sure to check out the amazing humpback whale exhibits and learn more about these fascinating creatures! At Kauai Sea Tours, you can also take a whale watching tour and see these amazing animals up close. Our knowledgeable captains will take you to the best spots to see humpback whales, and you’ll get an amazing experience that you’ll never forget!

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