Shore Buddies Wisdom Wednesday 04/07/2021
Photo by Michael B. Hardie
Humpback whales grow to be up to 60 feet long and weigh almost 40 tons. They have huge pectoral flippers that are almost ⅓ of their body length which they use to help them hunt and swim. They have been seen to stroke each other and slap the water with these large fins. Humpback whales are easily identifiable by their large tails that fluke-up when they dive. Each Humpback whale has unique markings on the undersides of these tales that helps differentiate them from each other. They are also covered in small bumps, called tubercles, which contain hairs that help them gain sensory information from their surroundings. Humpback whales also travel huge distances each year. They spend half of their year in colder waters where they spend most of their time feeding and the other half in warm and tropical waters where they mate and care for their young. These whales live in waters all across the world. When a Humpback whale is born, it can weigh up to 2,000 pounds and reach up to 15 feet in length. These young whales, called calves, stay with their mothers to nurse for anywhere between 6 to 10 months, until they are about 24 to 27 feet long.