The Humpback Whale, who is known scientifically as megaptera novaeangliae is a Baleen whale.  The Hawaiian name is Kohola.  An adult whale can range anywhere from 12-16 meters (40-50 ft.) in length and weigh approximately 36,000 kilograms (79,000 lbs.)  The humpback has a distinctive body shape, with extremely long pectoral fins and a knobbly head.  The humpback whale has the largest/longest pectoral fin out of all marine mammals.  It is an acrobatic animal, often breaching and slapping the water.  Males produce a whale song, which can last for 10 to 20 minutes and is repeated for hours at a time.  Competition for a mate is usually intense with groups of 2-20 males fighting for a single female.  It is said that their songs seem to have a role in mating along with breaching and slapping the water.


Found in oceans and seas around the world, humpback whales usually migrate approximately 25,000 kilometers a year.  They migrate from Alaska to Hawaii to breed and have their young.  Believe it or not, Humpbacks feed only in the summer, in polar waters, and fast and live off their fat reserves in the winter.  It is also believed that they migrate to escape the famous orca who feed on their young.  Females breed every 2-3 years and were thought to live 50-60 years, but recent studies show that a baleen whale proved to be 211 years old in Alaska.


Their diet consists of krill and small fish, which they sometimes hunt by direct attack or by stunning them by hitting the water with their pectoral fins.

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