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Found in all the world's oceans, most populations of humpback whales follow a regular migration route, summering in temperate and polar waters for feeding, and wintering in tropical waters for mating and calving. In the Arabian Sea, a year-round non-migratory population of humpbacks appears not to follow this general rule.
At least 3 different species of barnacles are commonly found on both the flippers and the body of the humpback whale. It is also home for a species of whale lice, Cyamus boopis Humpback whales are active, acrobatic whales.
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They can throw themselves completely out of the water breaching , and swim on their backs with both flippers in the air. They also engage in "tail lobbing" raising their huge flukes out of the water and then slapping it on the surface and "flipper slapping" using their flippers to slap the water.
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It is possible that these behaviors are important in communication between humpbacks. Perhaps the most interesting behavior of humpback whales is their "singing. Whales in the North American Atlantic population sing the same song, and all the whales in the North American Pacific population sing the same song. However, the songs of each of these populations and of those in other areas of the world are uniquely different. A typical song lasts from minutes, is repeated continuously for hours at a time, and changes gradually from year to year.
Singing whales are males, and the songs may be a part of mating behavior. Because their feeding, mating, and calving grounds are close to shore and because they are slow swimmers, the humpback whales were an easy target for early whalers. The International Whaling Commission IWC gave them worldwide protection status in , but there were large illegal kills by the Soviets until the 's. We greatly appreciate the knowledge and assistance of John Calambokidis of Cascadia Research and Mason Weinrich of the Whale Center of New England, who contributed to the revision of this fact sheet.
Facebook Instagram Twitter. Physical Description The head of a humpback whale is broad and rounded when viewed from above, but slim in profile.
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Length and Weight Adult males measure feet Feeding Humpback whales feed on krill, small shrimp-like crustaceans, and various kinds of small fish. Mating and Breeding Humpback whales reach sexual maturity at years of age or when males reach the length of 35 feet Natural History At least 3 different species of barnacles are commonly found on both the flippers and the body of the humpback whale. Status Because their feeding, mating, and calving grounds are close to shore and because they are slow swimmers, the humpback whales were an easy target for early whalers. Bibliography Jefferson, T.
Webber, R. Winn, L. Wings in the Sea; the Humpback Whale. Acknowledgements We greatly appreciate the knowledge and assistance of John Calambokidis of Cascadia Research and Mason Weinrich of the Whale Center of New England, who contributed to the revision of this fact sheet.
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