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Humpback Whale


Humpback Whale

Quick Facts

Genus: Megaptera novaeangliae

Location: The Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans

The Scoop


The Scoop

Singing Whales

Humpback whales are found in the open ocean and shallow waters off coastal regions. They spend the summer months in the colder, polar waters and migrate south in the winter to the warmer tropical waters. The average humpback whale can travel up to 25,000 km every year migrating back and forth. This whale has rows of plates in its enormous mouth that filters small particles of food out of the water. It does not have teeth. The humpback whale has two blow holes on the top of its head. They enable the whale to breathe in air on the surface of the water. Since humpback whales have to remember to breathe, researchers believe that they sleep by shutting off half of their brain at a time. Humpback whales are famous for their songs made up of moans, howls, cries, and other noises that often continue for hours on end.

Humpback whales are huge- they are as big as a bus! A fully grown humpback whale weighs about as much as four elephants! These huge whales feed mainly on krill and plankton that are present in richer waters. They will also eat small fish and crabs that get taken into their huge mouths.

Humpback whales were hunted widely, and at one time there were less than 15,000 of them left in the wild. However, conservation measures and new whaling laws have allowed the population to grow again.