Humpback Whale Facts

Humpback Whale Facts

Humpback whale facts
This species is famous for a wide range of fascinating Humpback whale facts. It can for instance use its strong and powerful body to leap out of the water; a capability highly appreciated by whale watchers. This habit of leaping out of the water is known as “breaching”. The Humpback whale is also famous for its intriguing whale song and its extraordinarily long front fins. 

Humpback Whale fact – whale song
The Humpback whale song is a well researched by still not fully comprehended Humpback whale fact. Just like all the other Cetacean species, the Humpback whale has no vocal cords. The Humpback whale will therefore create it song by forcing air through its large nasal cavities. 

The Humpback whale song consists of a series of low notes that are repeated in a certain pattern. The low notes vary in frequency as well as in amplitude in consistent patterns that can last several hours or even days. Each male Humpback whale produces a unique song pattern that gradually develops and changes over the years. The song never returns to the exact same sequence of notes as before, even if the Humpback whale continues to sing for decades.

The song is a way of communicating with other Humpback whales, but humans have still not managed to fully understand what the whales are actually telling each other. It is only the male Humpback whales that sing, so scientists first suspected that it was merely a part of the mating process. Today, most experts agree that the Humpback whale song can serve a broad range of purposes in addition to attracting female Humpbacks.

Humpback Whale facts – feeding
One of the most fascinating Humpback whale facts has to do with their ability to engage in so called “bubble net fishing”. During this type of hunt, a group of Humpback whales will combine forces and rapidly swim around in wide circles around and below a school of fish. As the swim, they will continuously expel air through their blowholes and thereby form a type of visual barrier in the water. The bubble barrier will prevent the schooling fish from escaping. The Humpback whales will then gradually confine the fish within a smaller and smaller area, until the whales all of a sudden swim upwards through the “bubble net”. The ascending whales will only have to keep their large mouths open in order to ingest vast amounts of trapped and confused fish. Over a dozen Humpback whales can work together during bubble net fishing, and the initial net can be up to 100 feet (30 metres) in diameter.   

Humpback Whale fact – predation
A less known Humpback whale fact is that these giant animals are preyed upon by the considerably smaller Orca. An average adult Humpback whale will be between 40 and 50 feet (12 and 16 meters) in length and weigh around 40 tons (36 tonnes). The adult male Orca on the other hand will usually stay around 31 feet (9.5 metres) in length and weigh slightly above 6 tons. The female Orca is even smaller. The difference in size means that healthy adult Humpback whales usually can fend off Orca attacks. You can often see scars on their thick skin from previous Orca assaults. Young Humpback whales to however frequently fall prey to Orcas, since the calves are much smaller than their parents and less skilled in defending themselves.  

Whale & Dolphin Articles:

Beluga Whale
Beluga Whale Facts
Blue Whale
Blue Whale Facts
Bottlenose Dolphin
Bottlenose Dolphin Facts
Humpback Whale
Sperm Whale
Pygme Sperm Whale


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