General

The humpback whale - Wanted poster


Characteristics

Surname: Humpback whale
Latin name: Megaptera novaeangliae
class: Mammals
size: 12 - 20m body length
mass: 20t - 40t
Older: 30 - 40 years
Appearance: white belly side, black top
Sexual dimorphism: No
Nutrition typePhotos: Fish eater (piscivor)
food: Fish, jellyfish and squid
distribution: worldwide
habitat: Ocean
natural enemies: no
sexual maturity: about the age of five
mating season: all year round
gestation: 11 - 12 months
litter size: 1 cub
social behavior: Loners
Threatened with extinction: Yes
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.

Interesting facts about the humpback whale

  • The humpback whale or Megaptera novaeangliae describes a species within the rutting whales.
  • It owes its name to its peculiarity of bending its back as it descends, forming a hunchback.
  • He prefers to stay near the coast and is found in all oceans of the world. Depending on the seasons, the humpback whale travels great distances of several thousand kilometers on its migrations.
  • The winter he spends mainly in subtropical and tropical shallow seas, in the summer he stays in the polar waters.
  • In the course of their hikes, humpback whales are often spotted in bays and estuaries.
  • Depending on gender, the humpback whale reaches body lengths of twelve to twenty meters and a weight of up to thirty, rarely even up to forty tons.
  • Striking are the strong physique and along the throat extending longitudinal grooves.
  • Humpback whales are mostly black with a white belly. In older animals, barnacles stick to the skin, leaving white marks on their pores, but they do not harm the animal. Also yellow diatoms often grow on the skin of the humpback whale.
  • In his mouth are several hundred horn plates, the so-called beards, with which he filters his food from the water.
  • Humpback whales feed on krill, small crabs and fish, jellyfish and squid.
  • Humpback whales are known for their melodic songs. The love songs of males during the mating season are modified each year to create new stanzas. The sounds of the humpback whales can be heard under water over distances of several hundred kilometers.
  • The humpback whales migrate to tropical waters around Hawaii for reproduction.
  • During the mating season, the males often perform fierce battles that leave scars visible on the dorsal skin.
  • The females give birth to a calf every two or three years after a gestation period of eleven to twelve months, which already weighs a ton and is nearly five meters long.
  • The calf remains in the care of the mother for a year and is breast-fed during this time. Many young animals then join together in groups of up to nine animals.
  • The life expectancy of the humpback whale is between thirty and forty years.
  • The only enemy of the humpback whale is the human. Since the hunt is strictly prohibited today, the stocks are slowly recovering, yet the humpback whale is considered an endangered species.