Humpback Whale breaching
A favorite of whale watchers, Humpback Whale is the most acrobatic of all Baleen Whales. A favorite activity of his is pec-waving, in which He twirls his body back and forth, waving his flippers. One of the most prodigious breachers, Humpback Whale leaps hundreds of times out of the water. Most noticeable of his actions is pec-slapping, where He slaps his long flippers against the water with a resounding crack that can be heard considerable distances. If a whale-watching boat disturbs him, Humpback Whale will lobtail to show his annoyance.
During his migration from the Polar Seas, Humpback Whale can be seen in coastal waters, breaching and pec-slapping. Easy to distinguish from other Baleen Whales, Humpback Whale has a broad tail, long white-edged flippers, and prominent knobs on his snout. His long narrow flippers, which are almost one-third of his body length, are the longest appendages of any animal.
When He finally arrives at his tropical breeding grounds; Humpback Whale sings one of his famous songs to attract Female Humpback Whales. (These songs have two to nine separate themes in a specific order.) Besides spooking whalers, his haunting sounds have been sent into space on the Voyager probes. Also, in “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home”, two Humpback Whales sang their songs to stop aliens from destroying the Earth.
Unlike other Baleen Whales, Humpback Whale hunts in groups. He engages in an unusual form of cooperative hunting called “bubble netting”. (Several Whales produce a continuous spiral of exhaled air making a single, large bubble net.) First, a Humpback Whale will tail slap to startle the Fish. Then each Whale slowly rises below a school of prey, expelling a circle of bubbles. These bubbles form a “net” similar to fishing net. The Fish panic and converge in a small group. Then Humpback Whale swims through the group with his mouth open wide, gulping down Fish.
Humpback Whale communicates to everyone in a multiple of ways. He sings to Female Humpback Whale to court her. To display his annoyance at whale watchers, He lobtails, pec-slaps, and breaches. Humpback Whale cooperates with his friends in bubble hunting Fish. Learn effective ways to communicate from Humpback Whale.
Humpback Whale Surfacing Straight Up
Humpback Whale’s Teachings Also Include:
“The most gamesome and light-hearted of all the whales” – Herman Melville, author of “Moby Dick”
“Whale has the ability to live in the present moment, conscious of the fact that he sees life as a reflection of who he is.” – Copyright, “Wisdom of Australian Animals”, Ann Williams-Fitzgerald.
“Whale teaches us to participate in the life of our society. Sing the archetypal songs of our culture – its assumptions, beliefs, and behaviors – and still maintain our own unique ‘style’” – Copyright: Shamanic Wisdom II, Dolfyn and Swimming Wolf.
“We know the whales are saying something. The question however is what it is.” – Gary Lyder, marine biologist
Breaches: Leaping out of the water and returns with a tremendous splash. Lobtailing: Forcefully slaps the flukes against the water while remaining partly underwater.
Conservation Note: Humpback Whales are seriously endangered. They are protected by international treaties. Moreover, many countries have restrictions on whale watching to keep the whales safe during breeding seasons.
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Photo of Humpback Whales copyrighted by Bill Lawton, NMML of U.S. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)