As the boat sways up and down, hours take years to complete, and the anticipation grows to see that one element of the whole trip. That element being the site of the enormous tail fin of a humpback whale. These trips are often taken via television for most people, but there are a select few who see the real thing. The humpback whale is usually unseen and forgotten. But this beautiful creature has been around a long time and if forgotten someday could be extinct.
The humpback whale as seen in the eyes of the famous writer, Herman Melville, “He has a great back on him like a peddler; or you might call him the Elephant and Castle whale (Ellis, 59).
” The description of the hump was near perfect, but as for the name he was not even close. The humpback is a shorter and stockier whale, on the average they reach about fifty feet in length and thirty-two tons ( not including blood ).
Generally the colors are black above and white below, but many combinations have been seen (60).
The humpback whale has a very large head and spacious mouth cavity. The two long rows of baleen plates strain the water for minute organisms. Its skull is very symmetrical and the brain cavity is small. The whale breathes through a blowhole on the top of the body and nostrils above the mouth. As for the fins, the dorsal fin is small and some lack them, the swimmers allow this huge creature to leap from the water (Grzimek 327).
... small dorsal fin. The whales belonging to this family are the blue whale, the fin, the humpback, minke and the sei whale. The blue whale is found ... warmer seas. The fin whale is found throughout every ocean in the world, from the poles to the tropics. The humpback migrates seasonally ...
The humpback whale belongs to the phylum Chordata, class Mammalia, and the order Cetacea. This aquatic animal belongs in the suborder Mysticeti, these are the baleen whales which have three families and several species. The family is called Balaenopteridae, meaning true fin backed whale. The genus name is Megaptera meaning great wing, and this separates it from other genus. And lastly the species name that is Megaptera novaeangliae (Cousteau 84).
The common everyday term is humpback whale.
The humpback whale tends to migrate singly, in pairs, or occasionally in larger schools. They migrate to cold ocean regions where food is plentiful. They have a short food chain compared to most mammals. Phytoplankton turns sunlight into energy and this energy is consumed by zooplankton. The zooplankton and phytoplankton are then eaten by small fish. The whale in turn eats the fish, making it a predator of the sea. The food chain completes when waste products and dead whales decompose. Their filter feeding method is quit simple, and very effective (Kauffman 55).
They take huge amounts of water into their mouth using a gulping method and then when they push the water out, they put their tongue up so the water must pass through the baleens. The food is then trapped and falls toward the rear of the mouth. The two gulping methods humpback whales use are the lunge feeding and bubble net feeding. Lunge feeding is used when food is abundant, the whale simply swims through prey with its mouth open engulfing prey. Bubble net is used when prey is less abundant, the whale plunges below the prey and discharges bubbles from the blowhole. The bubbles form a net and stun the prey and the whale simply swims upward and fills its mouth (56).
Humpback whales consume nearly a ton of food daily and that is how it’s done.
The humpback whale breed in the same areas every year. The offspring of humpback whales is known as a calf and it is a live birth. A normal pregnancy bears one calf a year, but there are known cases of them having twins. The calf usually weighs from 990 to 14,300 pounds (Schilling, 1).
The human body consists of massive amounts of different tissues and oranges, all doing different things. It's inevitable that these tissues need a large amount of energy to maintain health and to stay productive. When the body encounters a famine, it reacts to the lack of food by many different starvation endorse tactics. When the body enters into a lack of water, there is very little it can do ...
The newborn calf can reach lengths of twelve to fourteen feet. The humpback mother and her “escort,” stay with the calf nursing it and teaching how to dive, hold its breath, breach, and many other survival tips. The humpbacks reach sexual maturity at the age of seven. And the oldest known humpback died at the age of forty-seven in Australian waters (Ellis, 62).
Humpback males have unique mating rituals. The male points his head down in the water and his tail up, and repeats certain sounds for long periods of time. These “songs” can be become hauntingly beautiful, but the females love them (Wursig, 1).
The humpback whale most spectacular activity of all, is breaching: the whale throws itself out of the water, flippers extended, and then lands on its back or side and makes a awesome splash. This activity is graceful, but it has a specific function among whales. When the water is rough and calls cannot be heard, breaching gives their location. Another reason for this jumping is to loosen parasites, but this method is not very effective (Ellis, 63).
The humpback whale although being enormous in size is a very graceful animal.
The humpback has been sought after for years. First it was the Indians, then the Japanese, and then Americans got in on the act. From the Congo to Antarctica, during the years of 1904-1939, the number of humpback whales killed was 102,298. The whale was not even long enough for any true value except for its oil. The quality of this oil was not very good, but they killed enough whales to have an abundance to make up for it (Ellis, 69).
Whaling became a business for early persons, the whale could not swim fast enough to escape so they easily picked them of with harpoons. The over hunting of this beautiful creature nearly drove it to extinction. In 1946, The whaling countries formed the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to regulate the killing of whales. But at first the IWC, had high limits on what could be killed by whalers. It was not until 1960, when IWC reduced limits and banned killing of certain species. And the quotas further reduced in the 70’s, and in 1979 the use of factory ships was limited. In 1982, the IWC put a temporary hold on commercial whaling, beginning with the ’85 and ’86 hunting seasons. All nations had halted commercial whaling by 1988 (Schilling 1).
1st- metaphor describing the whale as a heaving mountain /the lines describing the whale getting killed/ describe the whale crying out/heard whale singing, describes it as grieving 2nd – singing to all the other whales and describes it as crying for its life/ the whale body would used for- lipstick for ‘painted’ faces, meaning makeup, and for shoe polish. 3rd- ‘tumbling – mountain’- vivid ...
Then in 1992, the North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission (NAMMCO) was formed. This was an alternative to IWC, whose restrictions were to harsh for whaling countries. In 1993, Norway resumed commercial whaling and it still goes on today. The United States on the other hand has strongly opposed commercial whaling. In 1971, the government banned whaling and outlawed the import of whale products. The regulations on commercial whaling have gotten better over the years. And the hunting of the humpback whale has not gone on for several decades (2).
On a better note, most biologists say whales have been saved for the time being. But complete protection must continue for a long time allow them to overcome the extreme over hunting. As the world increases, so does the demand for food. The fact of the matter is this, people may be competing with whales for food if the population of humans does not level off. Because they are already trying to find ways to fish for krill, the whales may source of food (Ford, 1).
The commercial whaling has decreased dramatically over the years, due to new regulations. But if their food source is taken away, they could be in the same situation.
The humpback whale is a beautiful creature that inhabits the vast oceans of the world. This creature has been on the endangered species list for some years, due to over hunting. The way the humpback could be taken off the list is to make whaling illegal all over the world. The whaling industry is not as in demand like years ago and whales are not either. This recommendation would definitely increase their chance of survival and one day remove them from the endangered list. The other recommendation would be to leave the humpback whales food supply alone. They primarily feed on krill and humans are now trying to catch it. To take away a food source would surely drive it to extinction. The humpback has also been raised in captivity and this seems effective. But that is usually an excuse to kill more, and only so many can be raised. These three recommendations are just a small portion of what can be done for the humpback whale. Because to save the humpback whale is critical to the preservation of a very unique mammal and when their gone they will be gone forever.
Have you ever been relaxing, on your living room couch, watching TV. on an empty stomach debating on what to have for lunch, when suddenly a Doritos Loco Taco commercial comes on looking like it’s better than a grilled steak? Ads and commercials have become more and more useful to fast food chains in helping them advertise their products. Creativity has become an important factor in advertising ...
Cousteau, Jacques-Yves, and Philippe Diole’. “The Humpback Whale.” The Whale. New York: Doubleday, 1972. 79-90.
Ellis, Richard. ” Humpback Whale.” The Book of Whales. New York: Alfred-A- Knopf, 1980. 59-70.
Grzimek, Dr. Bernhard. ” Whales.” Encyclopedia of Mammals. New York: McGraw-Hill Publishing, 1992. 326-327.
Kaufman, Gregory Dean. ” Humpback Whale.” Hawaii’s Humpback Whales: A Complete Whale Watchers Guide. Hawaii: Island Heritage, 1995. 30-56.
Phillips, Jeff. ” Humpback Comeback?” First Search. Nov. 1995. Available Gopher:
Schilling, Mark R. ” Scientific Publications.” Cetacean Research Unit (CRU).
Oct. 1998. Available Gopher: