Humpbacks can grow to 60 feet (18 meters) long, and they can weigh a whopping 40 tons (about half the size of a blue whale), according to the NOAA. Their flippers can grow up to 16 feet (5 m) long, which is the largest appendage in the world. Their tails are also massive and grow up to 18 feet (5.5 m) wide.
Why are humpback whales fins so long compared to other whales fins?
The flippers of the humpback whale channel flow and increase aerodynamic efficiency due to tubercles or bumps. … Despite being 40-50 feet long and weighing nearly 80,000 pounds, humpback whales swim in circles tight enough to produce nets of bubbles only five feet across, which corral their shrimp-like prey.
Why do humpback whales have such long fins?
The fins are primarily used for manoeuvring and providing sudden bursts of acceleration. When a humpback lunges at a shoal of fish, the whale’s baleen, a large comb-like filter in its mouth, sieves the food from the inrush of water.
What do humpback whales use their flippers for?
Humpback whales use their flippers to create a barrier that traps gathered prey, which they can then usher towards their mouths by swatting the water. Using aerial photography and filming, researchers were able to capture this foraging strategy for the first time.
How long is a humpback whale fin?
Humpback whales are found in every ocean in the world. Their Latin name, Megaptera novaeangliae, means “big wing of New England.” It refers to their giant pectoral fins, which can grow up to 16 feet long, and their appearance off the coast of New England, where European whalers first encountered them.
Can a whale survive without a dorsal fin?
In some whales (e.g. right whales and narwhals), the dorsal fin has disappeared altogether. In other species (e.g. blue and sperm whales), this fin is so small that it no longer really serves any purpose.
Why do orcas have a dorsal fin?
The Lowdown on Dorsal Fins
“(The dorsal fin) helps them slip through the water more efficiently. Similar to the ears of elephants or the tongues of dogs, dorsal, caudal and pectoral fins also help eliminate excess heat during intense activities such as hunting.”
Can a humpback whale eat a human?
Whales, in general, are not capable of swallowing a human being and therefore will not eat you.
How many babies can a humpback whale have in a lifetime?
The mother goes on with her life and has another baby 2-4 years after her first one. Blue whales can produce about 10 or below babies in their lifetime! Instead of leaving the baby when it’s born like most animals, the mother stays by its side until she knows it can survive on its own.
How far does a whale swim in a day?
They have evolved to swim up to 40 miles a day, foraging for food and exercising. They dive 100 to 500 feet, several times a day, every day. Whether they’re born in the wild or in captivity, all orcas born have the same innate drive to swim far and dive deep.
What is the whale flipper?
In animals with two flippers, such as whales, the flipper refers solely to the forelimbs. … The dorsal structure on cetaceans is called the “dorsal fin” and the large cetacean tails are referred to primarily as flukes but occasionally as “caudal fins”; neither of these structures are flippers.
Do whales have arm wrist and finger bones?
The sperm whale’s flippers, or pectoral fins, help the animal maneuver through water. … In fact, the bones of cetacean flippers are the same kinds of bones as in the human arm, with an upper arm bone, two forearm bones, and hand, wrist, and finger bones. In whales, fingers are elongated and may have additional bones.
Do whales have a fin on their back?
Photographed under NOAA permit # 16479. Gray whales don’t actually have a dorsal fin; instead they have a series of “knuckles” along their back. Researchers can use the shape of these knuckles, as well as mottling, scarring, and barnacle patterns on the whale’s back to identify individuals.
Has a humpback whale ever killed a human?
Wimmer said that whales are only at the surface about 10 to 20 per cent of the time. There have been a few incidents over the past few years between whales and humans. In May 2013, a man was seriously injured when his boat collided with a humpback whale off the B.C. coast.
What is the biggest thing a humpback whale can eat?
The 65-foot-long mammals have large esophaguses to feed on larger prey such as giant squid, which they sometimes swallow whole. In fact, colossal squid—which can reach 46 feet long—have been found inside a sperm whale’s stomach.