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some info on humpback whales

Posted by Larry C on March 18, 2010, 9:36 am

Darwin Hammersley gave a fine presentation on humpback whales at this week's breakfast for the men at El Quetzal. Thought others might be interested in some key facts from his handouts about these whales, which are the ones we often see in our bay:

- They are an endangered species with about 10,000 to 15,000 remaining worldwide.

- They grow to about 50 ft and weigh up to 50 tons.

- They travel in large loose groups. Most associations are temporary, lasting only a few days. There is a lasting bond btw mother and calves.

- They migrate back and forth from warm tropical waters where they breed and calve, to arctic waters where they eat. They can loose up to 20,000 pounds in their migration to warm waters.

- They are the noisiest and most imaginative whales when it comes to songs.

- When not migrating they prefer shallow waters.

- When feeding they will eat up to 5,500 pounds of plankton each day.

- A calf is born to a female every 1-3 yrs and will weigh about 4,000 pounds. Their life expectancy is 50 yrs.

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