Humpback Whales

Humpback whales are considered to be a medium sized whale measuring  up to 50 feet long and weighing about 50 tons. Humpbacks have very long 15 foot white pectoral flippers. Humpbacks are the whales most known for their various behaviors as well as lifting their tails as they go down into deeper water.

 

Humpbacks sometimes put on spectacular feeding displays at the surface. Being baleen whales they use hundreds of plates in their mouth as a large filter to feed on schooling fish. Many of the photos below show the baleen hanging down from the upper jaw as they open mouth feed at the surface. Notice all the birds in many of the photos trying to pick up any scraps the whales leave behind.

 

Every individual humpback whale has a very unique pattern on the underside of it’s tail which researchers can use to identify them.  The tails can range from all black to all white, or somewhere in between. Below are just a few examples of how different these patterns can be.

 Of course humpbacks are also know for occasionally being curious around boats and being acrobatic, jumping clear out of the water whenever they choose. Many of these behaviors, researchers still don’t know the reasons behind, but it’s still very exciting when you are lucky enough to witness it!