Humpback Whale

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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 ?
To complete the picture, genetic analysis of the skin biopsy samples from 64 humpback whales will give scientists an insight into the population structure in Antarctic waters and the sex composition of whales in Antarctica for comparison with whales migrating along the east Australian coast.
From the privileged spot of our floating "box seats," we witness the arrival of a female humpback whale followed by an entourage of giant suitors engaged in a mating ritual.
Setting a priority in creating a network of MPAs that will enclose Drake Bay, Cano island and Corcovado National Park (using as one of the arguments the whales' habitat use: breeding and nursing site), will comply with the conceptual framework, guidelines and priority activities established in the Conservation strategy of the South-eastern Pacific humpback whale (Flores-Gonzalez et al.
It is thought there may be two living humpback whales still in the area.
Humpback whales, which migrate up Australia's east coast from Antarctica, are at the core of the country's whale watching industry, Whale and Dolphin Watch Secretary and whale watch operator Frank Future said.
These sightings and fluke photographs were used in an associated study to estimate current humpback whale abundance within the study area (Witteveen, 2003).
Suaad al Harthi, ESO's programme director, said, 'The workshop primarily intends to raise awareness on the need for conservation of the Arabian Sea humpback whale and also to introduce the new Arabian Sea Whale Network (ASWN) regional online data platform, Flukebook.
The workshop, organized jointly by ESO and WWF-Pakistan aimed to raise awareness on the Arabian Sea humpback whale and other baleen whales, and introduce a regional data sharing platform called "Flukebook".
by Staff ReporterThe satellite-tracked Arabian humpback whale arrived in Kerala waters on January 1, and had left the Gulf of Oman two months ago.
An Arabian Sea humpback whale that was tagged in Masirah Island baffled marine biologists by turning up off the coast of India.
Late last year, a humpback whale was spotted in an unlikely place.