Name : Humpback Whale
Scientific Name : Megaptera novaeangliae
Class : Mammalia
Family : Balaenopteridae
Order : Cetacea (suborder) - Mysticeti
Shape : Big head, with pointed snout and a string of fleshy knobs.
Fins : Leading edges of enormous pectoral fins are jagged. Pronounced hump in front of fin. Relatively narrow tail stock and broad flukes with irregular, knobbly trailing edges. Long white or black flippers.
Length : Average length 16 metres and the calf is 4 metres long.
Weight : Adults weigh between 25 - 40 tons and the calf can weigh up to 1 ton.
Colour : Body is dark grey, with light-coloured chin, throat and flukes. Blue-black, black, or dark grey upper side. Underside may be completely black or white, but usually partially white.
Diet : Krill, and small fish such as mackerel and sardines.
Population : More than 100 000 Humpbacks were killed by whalers and, although some stocks seem to be recovering, today's population is just a fraction of its original size.
Migration : Spends much of the year fairly close to continental shores or islands, breeding and feeding on shallow banks, but migrates across open seas.
Habits : Pods of about five to 10 may herd prey. Individuals may blow a circle of bubbles, called a 'bubble net', and then swallow the trapped zooplankton.
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