Humpback Facts

By Team

Photo courtesy of  k-radk

Photo courtesy of k-radk

Learn a few tidbits about the fascinating humpback whale, then book your whale-watch tour (November through April annually) and enjoy:

• The humpback whale is the fifth largest of the great whales.

• When preparing for a deep dive, humpbacks arch their back and raise their tail flukes above the water. The whale’s arched back appears above the water as it dives. It is this arching that has earned the humpback whale its common name.

• A humpback’s pectoral (side) fins can be up to 15 feet long

• Adult female humpbacks can be up to 45 feet long; males are generally 42 feet long

• A mature humpback can weigh up to 40 tons (80,000 lbs)

• Baby humpbacks (calves) are generally 10 to 15 feet long and average 3,000 pounds at birth

• Humpbacks swim tremendous distances during their migrations: up to 7,000 miles round-trip between their summer feeding areas of the North Pacific and their winter breeding grounds in Hawaii

• In 1997 the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary was one of 13 national marine sanctuaries created under the U.S. Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act. This sanctuary supports management, research, education and long-term monitoring for the endangered humpback whale and its winter breeding grounds in the Pacific.

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