Humpback whale: towards and jump

Humpback whale: towards, jump, where it lives and how it interacts with other animals. All information on the speciesMegaptera novaeangliae.

Therehumpback whalesometimes calledhumpback whale, it's amysticet cetaceanof the Balaenopteridae family. His nameMegaptera, comes from the Greekméga pteròn, which means great wing, referring to the great onespectoral finsthat can be observed majestic both in swimming and during hisjump.

Weight and size

Therehumpback whalesees an average length ranging from 12 to 16 meters and aweightwhich goes up to 30,000 kg (30 tons). Therehumpback whalenot famous for its high weight or size, this animal is popular for itsjumpand for the complex singing (verse) of the males which can last up to 20 minutes.

Thehumpback whalethey populate the oceans and seas all over the world and, in general, each year perform 25,000 km long migrations.

Humpback whale: jump

Therehumpback whale, like other whales, they aremammals. Unlike fish that take advantage of gill respiration, they must emerge to "take air". Thehumpback whaleemerge by performing aspectacular jumpor just enough to accumulate air.

There humpback whalemanages to exhale by resurfacing to the surface with its dorsal fin. Thehumpback whales, as well as other marine mammals, even if they sleep underwater, they need oxygen from the surface.

You will be amazed to know that humpback whales' brains can regulate breathing by making the whale resurface during sleep! In practice, the humpback whale sleeps completely immersed, but when the oxygen reserves are running out, during sleep, it resurfaces without waking up.

In the two images, thejumpof thehumpback whaleseen from the front and in profile. Humpback whales manage to perform every jump already practiced by dolphins!

There is no shortage of friendly interactions between cetaceans. Humpback whales interact withbottlenose dolphinsand black whales (Eubalaena glacialis, E. japonica, E. australis). Humpback whales can form heterogeneous groups with other species, including the sperm whale, minke whale, blue whale, and gray whale.

In the Cook Islands, in September 2017, twohumpback whalethey protected a snorkler and a marine biologist from attack by one tiger shark of 4.5 meters.

Humpback whale: towards (song)

Both the male and the female make a sound, however only the males produce asong, longer and more complex. The song of humpback whales is famous because it varies in amplitude and frequency and can last from 10 to 20 minutes. In some cases, male specimens can emit this sound for 24 hours, continuously.

THEcetaceansthey have no vocal cords, they produce their sound and song by means of a structure similar to the larynx. The mechanism by which humpback whales produce their cry (song) has not yet been identified.

The humpback whales produce different songs based on the area they belong to: all the humpback whales of the North Atlantic produce the same "song", as do those of the Pacific, the Indian Ocean and the Antarctic.

Scientists are still not sure of the function of singing, it is supposed that males exploit singing to attract females but this is not yet clear as another rather accredited hypothesis is that singing can perform an echolocating function. More than singing, biologists have observed that it is her leap that is used in the courtship ritual. The I singof humpback whales is different from the verse! In fact, humpback whales make other sounds to communicate, such as grunts, moans, snorts and a sound similar to a dog's barking!

Humpback whales in the Mediterranean

The four populations of humpback whales are found in the North Pacific, in the Atlantic, in the Indian Ocean and in the Southern Ocean. However, the species has a cosmopolitan distribution also in other waters of the globe. The presence of a group of humpback whales has been confirmed throughout the year between British and Norwegian waters. There arewhales in the mediterranean?

Seeing whales in the Mediterranean, until recently, was impossible. Today, with the repopulation of some areas, there has been a fair presence of humpback whales within the Mediterranean basin. Experts say that whales in the Mediterranean, to date, only reach it in winter, during migrations, however in the future they could also go to the Mare nostrum for the purpose of predation.


At one time, like other large whales, the humpback whale was also a target for the industrywhaling. The hunt led the speciesMegaptera novaengliaeon the verge of extinction: its population in some geographical areas decreased by about 90%. Fortunately, a moratorium was enacted in 1966 to safeguard thehumpback whale, today, this species is no longer consideredvulnerable or at risk. The status of the humpback whale in the IUCN list changed in August 2008, however, even today, the species is affected by some forms of pollution.

Cases ofcollision with shipsor whales and humpback whales killed and injured for having impacted equipment intended for fishing for other large fish or cetaceans.

A very dangerous form of pollution for whales and humpback whales is noise pollution that continues to disorient the species. In the photo above, a dead humpback whale beached near Big Sur, California.

Where humpback whales live

Data prior to hunting humpback whales reported a world population of at least 125,000 specimens. The world population, to date, counts approximately 80,000 specimens of humpback whales: 18,000 - 20,000 in the North Pacific, about 12,000 in the North Atlantic and over 50,000 in the southern hemisphere.

Whale watching is a relatively new form of ecotourism. It is about observing whales in their natural habitat, without interacting with the animal, or bothering it in any way.

Whale watching

Therehumpback whale, with its jump, attracts many whale watching enthusiasts. Where to see the humpback whales? Whale watching is practiced in many countries around the globe. In summer the magettas can be observed in the Snaefellsnes peninsula (western Iceland), in Panama, off the coast of Ecuador ... in winter there are routes near Mona Passage (Puerto Rico), Gulf of Biscay, Dominican Republic, Hawaii … As stated, thehumpback whaleit is present in the waters of the entire globe and finding locations for whale watching is not at all difficult. This business, in Hawaii, moves around 20 million dollars a year.

It may interest you: how fish breathe

Video: Rare Footage: Humpback Whale Seen Jumping Clear Out of the Water Off South Africa (January 2022).