~ The Humpback Whale ~
The Humpback whale is the most popular whale on whale-watching trips.
This whale seems happy to perform, lifting its head out of the water, waving its long, massive flippers, splashing its tail, rolling over in the water, and more than anything else, leaping out of the water!
It tends to move close to boats and shows little shyness towards humans.
Males average 36 to 57 feet in length and females average a length of 36 to 62 feet.
They feed on various schooling fish and invertebrates.
They catch their meals most often by using a technique called "bubblenetting".
Bubblenetting is when the whale dives under a school of small fish and blows bubbles up around the fish, trapping them in a ring of bubbles.
The whale then swims up from below the fish with its mouth wide open and captures and eats the fish caught in its "bubblenet".
Although said to be slow moving, Humpbacks are capable of impressive bursts of speed during mating and fighting.
Humpback whales are seen alone, in pairs, or in groups of up to 15 animals.
Mothers and calves stay close for the first year, but on mating grounds they are often escorted by a male.
The Humpback is still vulnerable from being intensively hunted by whalers in the past, but hopes are that their numbers are increasing.
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