Humpback Whale Behaviors Photo Guide

 

 

Breach


The Humpback whale uses its tail to push its entire body out of the water into midair, then comes crashing down on the water with huge splash.

Humpback whale breach

 

 

Spy Hop


The Humpback whale vertically pops its head out of the water. It is believed that this behavior allows the whale to view activity above the surface of the water.

Humpback whale spy hop

 

 

Tail Slap


The Humpback whale uses its flukes to repeatedly slap the surface of the water. The slapping is repetitive and may be signaling a warning to other whales.

Humpback whale tail slap

 

 

Pectoral Fin Slap


The Humpback whale uses its pectoral fins to slap the water’s surface. The Humpback whale may use one or both of its fins for this behavior.

Humpback whale fin slap

 

 

Head Lunge


The Humpback whale performs this competitive behavior, where it lunges its massive head forward as it is raised above the water’s surface.

Humpback whale head lunge

 

 

Peduncle Slap


The Humpback whale raises its tail high out of the water and slaps its peduncle against the surface.

Humpback whale peduncle slap

 

 

Fluke Up Dive


The Humpback whale dives deep under water causing the tail to first form an upward arch, then slowly descend vertically underwater.

 

Humpback whale tail

 

 

Blow


Adult Humpback whales take a breath every 10-15 minutes, but may remain under water for as long as 45 minutes. Calves must breathe every 3-5 minutes.

Humpback whale blow

 

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