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The Humpback whale. By Cate Graumans. Classification. The scientific name for the humpback whale is Megaptera Novaeangliae. Appeareance.

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the humpback whale

The Humpback whale

By Cate Graumans

classification
Classification
  • The scientific name for the humpback whale is

Megaptera Novaeangliae

appeareance
Appeareance
  • Humpback whales have a white and grey stomach and they usually have barnacles on their skin. They have very large flippers almost 1/3 of their body length. They have a small dorsal fin on their back with a small bump, hence the name “humpback whale”.

The Humpback whale is not like your average gold fish .The humpback whale can grow to the size of 12-16 metres long!

history
History
  • The ancestors of our whales today lived on land. The fossil record tell us that around 52-42 million years ago in Pakistan, They began to spend more and more time in the ocean and eventually became fully aquatic living, feeding and giving birth in the ocean. Since then they have changed to over 80 species of whales, Dolphins and porpoises.
habitat
Habitat
  • Humpback whales live at the surface of the ocean, both in the open ocean and shallow coastline waters. When not migrating, they swim in shallow waters. They migrate from warm tropical waters where they breed and calve to arctic waters where they eat. There are 3 separate populations of humpbacks, those living in the North Pacific Ocean, those in the North Atlantic Ocean, and those swimming the oceans of the Southern Hemisphere.
the life cycle
The Life Cycle

The first part of the life cycle is the fighting. The male humpback will fight another male for a female. They lunge at each other with their heads or hit each other with their tails.

Once the female has found her mate she will mate.

The whale takes birth in the warmer waters in the winter. The female is pregnant for 10-12 months.

The whale will have 1 calf almost every year. Unlike other mammals the baby humpback is born tail first. The birth is short because the baby must get to the surface to breath.

Two years after the birth the whale will migrate back to Antarctica.

behaviour
Behaviour
  • Humpback whales are usually seen alone or with other whales, they may form small groups of 4 or 5 individuals, almost never larger. These groups aren’t very attached they can leave at any time and the others will not be upset, this is how they make the groups. The only long-term grouping of any sort is between mother and calf, though sometimes a male may accompany them and become aggressive to any other male approaching. Humpback whales are also very active and like to perform. They perform tricks like Spy hop, Tail extension, Tail Lob and Tail throw. Underwater they communicate with low bellows, grunts and a distinctive song. To speak with other whales they make these sounds and wait for a reply they can be heard from miles away.
interesting facts
Interesting Facts
  • As mammals, whales are warm-blooded and maintain a body temperature similar to that of a human. In cold water temperatures, whales maintain their body temperature by forming a thick wall of fat (often called blubber) to insulate their bodies.

The calf can eat solid food after one year. The menu of humpback whales include krill and numerous types of small fish. An adult whale eats almost two tons of fish every day.

They can jump out of the water at about 12 meters in the air.

Their weight can reach between 25 to 40 tons.

They are part of the baleen whale family and they can be found in all oceans and numerous seas in the world.

bibliography
Bibliography
  • http://www.alaskahumpbacks.org/
  • http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=en&q=the%20humpback%20whale&psj=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&bpcl=35277026&biw=1366&bih=563&wrapid=tlif135026666280310&safe=on&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=Om97UIrAOoOpiAeZ8oEo
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humpback_whale
  • http://www.whaletrust.org/whales/whale_behavior.shtml
  • http://australianmuseum.net.au/Humpback-Whale
  • http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/sprat/public/publicspecies.pl?taxon_id=38
  • http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/humpback-whale/