HUMPBACK WHALE

(Megaptera novaeangliae)

HUMPBACK WHALE (Megaptera novaeangliae)

 

Humpback Whales travel great distances during their seasonal migration, the farthest migration of any mammal. They feed only during the summer months in polar waters and migrate every year to tropical and subtropical waters, including the east coast of Africa, to breed and give birth, visiting Tofo from around June until late October. During the winter months they fast, living simply off their fat reserves. 

The Humpback Whales are a species of baleen whale, with adults ranging in length from

12 to 16 meters and weighting about   36  tonnes.  Adult  females  are  larger  than  adult

males,  reaching  lengths of up to 18  meters. They are known for their long pectoral fins

which  can  be  up  to  4.6 meters long,  and which give them increased maneuverability

allowing  them  to  slow  down  or even   go backwards. Their body is primarily dark grey

with a variable amount of white on their pectoral fins and belly. The pigmentation patterns

on the underside of their flukes are  unique  to each individual, much  like those of  Whale

Sharks and Manta Rays, and can be used to identify individual Humpback Whales.

The  Humpback  Whales  are  filter  feeders,  their diet consisting mainly of krill and small

fish,  and  they  have a diverse repertoire of feeding methods, one of which is the bubble

net  feeding  technique. The whales often jump fully out of the water (breaching), or hold

their  tails  high out of the water for quite long periods of time (sailing) and slap their tails

and  fins  on  the surface, which is a behaviour associated with mating. While diving, it is

possible  to  hear  them “singing” to one another – a sound that can be heard from up to

2 km away.  It is important not to disturb these creatures, especially mothers with calves,

so boats are advised to keep a respectable distance of no less than 200 meters away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PLEASE NOTE THAT AN ENCOUNTER WITH HUMPBACK WHALES CAN NEVER BE GUARANTEED ON A PARTICULAR OCEAN SAFARI OR DIVE!! This is what makes the wild so special; every day is just unique!

Species Distribution

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Praia do Tofo - Mozambique

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