Humpback Whale

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Humpback Whale

Length: 13–17 meters
Weight: 25–40 tons.
Worldwide population: 10.000–15.000 individuals
Life expectancy: Ca. 95 years

Humpback whales, 11 – 19 m in length, are baleen whales, like blue, fin, sei and minke whales.

They primarily feed on plankton, krill, but also small fish, such as capelin and are easily identified by their enormously long flippers, which can be up to five or 6 m in length. Humpback whales are playfull, occasionally raising the flippers to slap the water surface, rolling over or leaping out of the water. Head and flippers are covered with barnacles, which will attach soon after birth and remain there during it’s lifetime.

Their powerful spout, 2,5 – 3 m, lasts for several seconds and their breathing cycle is 3 -4 times before deep diving. They remain underwater for 5 – 7 minutes at a time, though often much longer. Humpback whales nearly always raise their fluke before diving, revealing the distinctive black and white pattern, which distinguishes individuals and is used for identification.

Northern Atlantic humpback whales migrate to their breeding grounds in the Caribbean. In summertime, they frequent shallow waters around Iceland and come often into the fjords and bays in search of food. The population size in Icelandic waters is uncertain, but is estimated to be around 1,500 – 1,800 individuals.

Humpback Whale as on Wikipedia

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