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Scientific name: Megaptera novaengliae
Common name: Humpback whale
Phyulm Sub Phylum Class Sub Class Order Sub Order Family Sub Family Genus Species
Chordata Vertebrata Mammalia Theriformes Cete Cetacea Balaenopteridae Not Defined Megaptera Megaptera novaengliae


Short Description:

Humpback whales have a rounded bulky body ending in broad, deeply notched flukes that have irregular knobby trailing edges and pointed tips . There are fleshy knobs called tubercles on their head forward of their two blowholes and on the leading edge of the lower jaw. Each contains a single bristly hair that scientists believe may have a sensory function. No other whale has these tubercles. There may also be clusters of barnacles on the head and a protuberance at the tip of the lower jaw. There are 12-50 throat grooves or pleats on the ventral side of their body extending from the tip of the lower jaw to just beyond the navel. This is a smaller number of throat grooves than most rorquals have. Their long, narrow, wing-like flippers (pectoral fins) have knobby trailing edges. The shape of the dorsal fin is variable ranging from low and stubby with a broad base to high and falcate (curved ). There is often a prominent hump in front of the dorsal fin.

The humpback has a distinctive body shape, with unusually long pectoral fins and a knobbly head
Size: 12–16 metres  
Behaviour: Humpbacks are migratory, spending summers in cooler, high-latitude waters and mating and calving in tropical and subtropical waters 
Diet: Humpbacks feed primarily in summer and live off fat reserves during winter. They feed only rarely and opportunistically in their wintering waters. The humpback is an energetic hunter, taking krill and small schooling fish 
Distribution: Found in oceans and seas around the world, humpback whales typically migrate up to 25,000 kilometres each year. 
Depth: 1500mm
Habitat: Pelagic
Similar Species:
  • None on database

Database Statistics
(Click on the links for more information)
Photographer Date City Area Dive site Temp Size Depth Camera Photo Video
Lloyd Edwards-(Port Elizabeth) 2009-10-13 Port Elizabeth Algoa Bay (PE)-Port Elizabeth General Coastline 17 14m 1m Nikon D200 photo
Lloyd Edwards-(Port Elizabeth) 2009-07-02 Port Elizabeth Algoa Bay (PE)-Port Elizabeth General Coastline 17 14m 1m Nikon D200 photo
Lloyd Edwards-(Port Elizabeth) 2008-12-13 Port Elizabeth Algoa Bay (PE)-Port Elizabeth General Coastline 17 18m 1m Nikon D200 photo
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eastern cape scuba diving