Interesting Facts About Humpback Whales

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Witnessing a humpback whale in its natural habitat and experiencing these incredible sea creatures up close is nothing short of a breathtaking experience. From their unbelievable mass, to their playful nature, the humpback whale is full of natural enigma and wonder.

Fun Facts About the Humpback

Here are some fun and interesting facts about humpback whales that will excite you!

  • The humpback whale was originally identified in 1756 by Jacques Brisson, a French philosopher and zoologist.
  • The large and robust body of the humpback whale is 50 feet or equivalent to one and a half buses. They have incredibly large flippers as well, each growing up to a length of 16 feet.
  • Humpback whales can weigh up to 30 to 40 tons. To put it in perspective, this is equivalent to the weight of about 10 hippopotamuses!
  • The humpback is incredibly diverse from a geographic perspective, as its distribution reaches most all waters of the world including the North Atlantic Ocean, North Pacific Ocean, Arctic Ocean.
  • The humpback whale is part of the baleen whale species, characterized by its baleen plates or bristles that trap small crustaceans, krill, and plankton when feeding. Although humpback feed on tiny morsels of food, they require almost 1.5 tons of food on a daily basis!
  • Adult female humpback whales are slightly larger than adult male humpback whales. The typical adult female usually grows up to 50 feet in length, which is 10-11% larger than an average male coming in at 45 ft in length.
  • Humpbacks travel incredibly long distances during their seasonal migration. They travel up to 12,000-16,000 miles from the American Samoa, where they mate and feed, to the Antarctic Peninsula. They make sure to feed enough on krill, plankton, and other small crustaceans in the summer to last them through the winter.
  • Fortunately, the population of humpback whales is stable and growing, despite the problems of commercial hunting that has existed for many years. Although there are some humpback whales that are illegally caught every year, the international legal protection they’ve had from whalers since 1966 has kept them overall very safe and protected.
  • Humpback whales have some of the largest whale offspring. After an 11-month gestation period, female humpbacks give birth to their calf, which can be born at a massive length of 16 feet (the length of an adult flipper!).
  • Humpback whales are very competitive, especially during their mating season. They use aggressive flaps and spins to attract mates and sing incredibly loud songs that can be heard up to 20 miles away!
  • The underbellies of humpback whales are very distinguished and made up of different elongated stripes. They are so unique, that they can be compared to the fingerprints of humans!
  • Humpback whales are widely known for their acrobatic play in the waters. They love to engage in breaching, when they jump out of the ocean water and breach the surface. You can find humpback whales breaching and twirling out of the water, which experts suspect is a way for them to play and interact with one another. They also love to slap their tail and flippers on the water, creating giant splashing on the ocean surface. Their playful nature in the water make them a crowd favorite on whale watching tours and excursions.

Can I See A Humpback Whale on Harbor Breeze?

If you are interested in seeing a humpback whale up close and personal, contact us at Harbor Breeze for an unbelievable whale watching experience the entire family will remember forever. As one of Long Beach’s top-rated whale watching cruises, we give exceptional whale watching tours with impressive sightings of the humpback whale! We look forward to taking you out on the waters soon for an exciting adventure.

 

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