Humpback Whale Facts
Scientific name: Eschrichtius robustus
Conservation Status: Least Concern – population increasing
Lifespan: 45-50 years
Mass: 30,000 kg
Length: 13 m
More About Humpback Whales:
The humpback whale reaches lengths up to 13 meters, and weighs around 30 tons. It has a dark, almost black body with varying degrees of white on the underside of its body and tail fluke.
The enormous pectoral fins of the humpback can reach 15 feet in length and are often used to “slap” the water. They are widely distributed around the globe, wintering in warmer latitudes and feeding in Arctic and Antarctic regions during the polar summer months.
Of all large whales, the humpback is perhaps the most well known. The humpback first gained international attention in the early 1970’s when researcher Roger Payne (with Scott McVay) discovered the complex “songs” that the males sing. This discovery prompted the beginning of the “Save The Whales” movement.
Humpback Whale Facts & Tidbits
- The common name “Humpback” came from the curvature of their back when diving.
- These whales can reach lengths up to 60 feet, with females being slightly larger. The Humpback is known for its long pectoral fins which can reach 15 feet in length.
- The pattern of white on the underside of the tail fluke is unique to each individual, allowing scientists to use photo identification to ID individual whales.
The humpback whale is widely distributed around the globe. They migrate annually between summer feeding grounds in northern and southern regions like Alaska and Antarctica, to tropical calving grounds where they give birth and remain until calves are ready to undertake the migration with their mothers.
The annual migration from feeding grounds to calving grounds may take several months to complete and may cover up to 10,000 km.
Hot Spots: Alaska, Hawaii, Haida Gwaii (Canada), Tonga, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Dominican Republic
IUCN Status: Least concern / Population Trend: Increasing
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