HUMPBACK WHALES

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Humpback whales

Text from greenland today, JULY 2008
One of Greenland’s largest summer guests is the hump-back whale.
Over recent decades, the number of humpback whales has steadily increased, with a small increase of 30 individuals each year within this population.
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A female typically gives birth to a calf every one to three years. The calf stays with its mother for up to a year, drinking 50 litres of its mother’s milk every day.
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Friendly swimmer
People who travel by water have a good chance of meeting a humpback whale.
The humpback whale lifting its tail vertically out of the water before taking a deep dive.
On rare ccasions, a humpback whale may even jump right out of the water. It happens when several whales join up to fish together.
They built a net by blowing a ring of bubbles at the bottom. The fish don’t swim through the bubbles so they are caught in the cylinder formed by the bubbles.
The whales then take turns to swim up through the bubble tunnel and feed on the captured shoals of fish.
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One of a kind
Humpback whales belong to the family of baleen whales, i.e. whales that feed using the ingenious baleen – a comb-like structure that filters tiny organisms from the seawater which is gulped into the mouth in huge quantities.
Traditionally, krill counts as the most important food, but at certain times, shoals of fish are very important for humpback whales in Greenland.
An characteristic of the humpback whale is the unique black and white pattern that is found on its fluke. Another characteristic of the humpback whale is its whale song who is world famous.

 

Read the full article from the magazine here HUMPBACK_WHALES