Agriculture
Watering the Air
Middle school science adventures
Cleaning Up Fish Farms
Amphibians
Frogs and Toads
Tree Frogs
Salamanders and Newts
Animals
Crocodile Hearts
Polly Shouldn't Get a Cracker
Cool Penguins
Behavior
Two monkeys see a more colorful world
Lightening Your Mood
A Light Delay
Birds
Turkeys
Rheas
Cassowaries
Chemistry and Materials
Supersonic Splash
Moon Crash, Splash
Scientist Profile: Wally Gilbert
Computers
Nonstop Robot
Play for Science
It's a Small E-mail World After All
Dinosaurs and Fossils
A Really Big (but Extinct) Rodent
Dino-bite!
Supersight for a Dino King
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Earth
Weird, new ant
The Rise of Yellowstone
Giving Sharks Safe Homes
Environment
Whale Watch
Snow Traps
Shrimpy Invaders
Finding the Past
Sahara Cemetery
Stone Tablet May Solve Maya Mystery
Your inner Neandertal
Fish
Skates and Rays
Mahi-Mahi
Perches
Food and Nutrition
Symbols from the Stone Age
Allergies: From Bee Stings to Peanuts
Yummy bugs
GSAT English Rules
Whoever vs. Whomever
Subject and Verb Agreement
Capitalization Rules
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Mastering The GSAT Exam
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
GSAT Mathematics
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
Play for Science
Detecting True Art
Human Body
Germ Zapper
Smiles Turn Away Colds
Flu Patrol
Invertebrates
Scallops
Wasps
Ants
Mammals
Moose
Platypus
Oxen
Parents
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Children and Media
Physics
Einstein's Skateboard
Road Bumps
IceCube Science
Plants
Plants Travel Wind Highways
Bright Blooms That Glow
Fast-flying fungal spores
Reptiles
Geckos
Garter Snakes
Cobras
Space and Astronomy
Planning for Mars
The two faces of Mars
Return to Space
Technology and Engineering
Algae Motors
Riding Sunlight
Reach for the Sky
The Parts of Speech
Pronouns
What is a Preposition?
Problems with Prepositions
Transportation
Flying the Hyper Skies
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
How to Fly Like a Bat
Weather
Recipe for a Hurricane
Where rivers run uphill
Catching Some Rays
Add your Article

Humpback Whales

The Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is a mammal which belongs to the Baleen whale suborder.It is well known for its breaching (leaping out of the water), its unusually long front fins, and its complex whale song. The Humpback whale lives in oceans and seas around the world, and is regularly sought out by whale-watchers. It is a large whale: an adult usually ranges between 12–16 m (40–50 ft) long and weighs approximately 36,000 kilograms (79,000 pounds), or 36 tonnes (40 tons). Feeding in the summer, living off fat in winter: The species feeds only in summer and lives off fat reserves during winter. It is an energetic feeder, taking krill and small schooling fish, such as herring, capelin and sand lance. It will hunt fish by direct attack or by stunning them by hitting the water with its flippers or flukes. Amazing acrobats: Humpbacks often 'breach': they leap out of the water with enough upward force that nearly two-thirds of the body comes out of the water, and then comes back to the water again with an enromous splash. Sometimes a twist is involved in the jump, a sideways motion or many other impressive acrobative feats. They have also been seen rolling in the water, slapping the water with their flippers and fluke, butting into other whales and also lifiting themselves straight up out of the water. This often makes whale-watching an extremely exciting event! Orca bullies: Humpback whales are preyed upon by Orcas. The result of these attacks is generally nothing more serious than some scarring of the skin. However, it is likely that young calves are sometimes killed. Blowing bubbles for a big gulp: Its most inventive feeding technique is called bubble net fishing. A group of whales swims rapidly in wide circles around and under a school of fish, blowing air through their blowholes. The bubbles form a visual barrier that serves to confine the school within an ever-tighter area. The whales then suddenly swim upwards and through the bubble net, mouths agape, swallowing thousands of fish in one gulp. This technique can involve a ring of bubbles up to 30 m (100 ft) in diameter and the cooperation of a dozen animals at once. It is perhaps the most spectacular act of cooperation among marine mammals. Complex singers: Alongside its aerial acrobatics, the Humpback whale is well known for its long and complex "song". As cetaceans have no vocal chords, whales generate their songs by forcing air through their massive nasal cavities. Humpbacks repeat patterns of low notes that vary in amplitude and frequency in consistent patterns over a period of hours or even days. Scientists are still unsure what the whalesong is meant to communicate. Only male Humpbacks sing, so it was at first assumed that the songs were solely for courting. While the primary purpose of whalesong may be to attract females, it's almost certain that whalesong serves myriad purposes. Also interesting is the fact that a whale's unique song slowly evolves over a period of years —never returning to the same sequence of notes even after decades. Curiousity used to mean big trouble: Humpback whales are generally curious about objects in their environment. They will often approach and circle boats. Whilst this inquisitiveness was akin to suicide when the vessel was a whaling ship, it has become an attraction of whale watching tourism in many locations around the world since the 1990s. Curiousity works for whale-watching though: Whale-watching locations include the Pacific coast off Washington, Vancouver, Hawaii and Alaska, the Bay of Biscay to the west of France, Byron Bay north of Sydney, the coasts of New England and Newfoundland, the northern St. Lawrence River and the Snaefellsnes peninsula in the west of Iceland. The species is popular because it breaches regularly and spectacularly, and displays a range of other social behaviors. Protective mothers: As with other cetacean species, however, a mother whale will generally be extremely protective of her infant, and will seek to place herself between any boat and the calf before moving quickly away from the vessel. Whale-watching operators are asked to avoid stressing the mother unduly. Preying whalers: The first recorded Humpback kill was made in 1608 off Nantucket. Opportunistic killing of the species is likely to have occurred long before then, and certainly continued with increasing pace in the following centuries. By the eighteenth century, the commercial value of Humpback Whales had been realized, and they became a common prey of whalers for many years. Explosive harpoons were bad news to friendly whales: By the 19th century, many nations (in particular, the United States), were hunting the creature heavily in the Atlantic Ocean — and to a lesser extent in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. However, it was the introduction of the explosive harpoon in the late nineteenth century that allowed whalers to accelerate their take. This, coupled with the opening-up of the Antarctic seas in 1904, led to a sharp decline in whale numbers amongst all populations. 90% gone is a terrible crime : It is estimated that during the 20th century at least 200,000 Humpbacks were taken, reducing the global population by over 90%. To prevent species extinction, a general moratorium on the hunting of Humpbacks was introduced in 1966 and is still in force today. In his book Humpback Whales (1996), Phil Clapham, a scientist at the Smithsonian Institute, says "this wanton destruction of some of the earth's most magnificent creatures [is] one of the greatest of our many environmental crimes". Stopping barely in time: By the time the International Whaling Commission members agreed on a moratorium on Humpback hunting in 1966, the whales had become sufficiently scarce as not to be worthwhile hunting commercially. At this time, 250,000 were recorded killed. However, the true toll is likely to be significantly higher. It is now known that the Soviet Union was deliberately under-recording its kills; the total Soviet Humpback kill was reported at 2,710 whereas the true number is now believed to be 48,000. Starting in 2007 Japan is planning to kill 50 Humpback Whales per year under its JARPA-II research program.

Humpback Whales
Humpback Whales








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™