Humpback Whale

(redirected from Megaptera)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to Megaptera: Balaenopteridae

Humpback Whale


(Megaptera nodosa), a mammal of the family Balaenopteridae. Measuring 11–16 m long, it weighs 25–40 tons, of which 4–6 tons is fat. The humpback whale is characterized by a short, thickset body and long (up to one-third the length of the body) pectoral fins with a knobby forward edge. On the head and lower jaw there are up to 50 rounded bosses measuring up to 9 cm in diameter; the dorsal fin is small and fat. On each side of the mouth there are 270–400 dark plates of whalebone. The abdomen has up to 36 lengthwise grooves or pleats. The body coloration varies: it is black on top and black, mottled, or white below. The humpback whale is almost completely covered with barnacles and whale lice.

The humpback whale is found from the arctic to the antarctic; in the USSR it is distributed in the seas of the Far East. In the southern hemisphere there are six and in the northern hemisphere, four, populations (“herds”) of humpback whales. They winter, mate, and reproduce in warm waters, often close to shore, and put on fat in cold and temperate waters. The gestation period lasts approximately one year. The young are 4–4.5 m long at birth and are nursed by the mother for half a year. Because of decreasing numbers, the commercial use of humpback whales has been prohibited since 1963.


Tomilin. A. G. Kitoobraznye. Moscow. 1957. (Zveri SSSR i prilezhashchikh stran, vol. 9.)
Tomilin. A. G. Kitoobraznye fauny morei SSSR. Moscow, 1962.


References in periodicals archive ?
"Implantable" tags have been deployed in Gulf of Maine Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) because their strong site fidelity, long feeding ground residency, and high observer effort result in repeated sightings of tagged animals.
Whale species Number of whales (all studied area) Fin Balaenoptera physalus 168 (43%) Unidentified whale 127 (32%) Humpback Megaptera novaeangliae 83 (21%) Southern Right Eubalaena australis 16 (4%) Whale species Number of whales (Protected Marine Area) Fin Balaenoptera physalus 41 (24%) Unidentified whale 29 (23%) Humpback Megaptera novaeangliae 48 (58%) Southern Right Eubalaena australis 1 (6%) Whale species Cetacean encounter) rate (all studied area Fin Balaenoptera physalus 0.29 Unidentified whale 0.21 Humpback Megaptera novaeangliae 0.14 Southern Right Eubalaena australis 0.03 Table 2 Relationships between environmental variables and the whales occurrence.
Population identity of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the waters of the US Mid-Atlantic States.
seasonality, movements and group composition of humpback whales megaptera novaeangliae off the west coast of South Africa," African Journal of Marine Science, vol.
Population ecology and conservation of cetaceans in Oman, with particular reference to humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae (Borowski 1781).
Southern New England Impact Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) Calf
Status and distribution of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Northern Luzon, Philippines.
Leading edge tubercles delay stall on humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) flippers.
1987: Prey densities and foraging of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae).--Experientia 43: 468-471.
Dolphin signals were common, and the song of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) was frequently recorded (Lammers et al., 2009).