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The Humpback Whale

The Humpback whale is one of the most energetic of the rorquals. It is known for its spectacular breaching, flipper-slapping and lobtailing. It is easily identified at close range by its knobbly head and long flippers. The black and white colouration on the underside of the flukes (tail) allows scientists to distinguish and name individuals all around the world. No two Humpback whales are exactly alike.
During breeding season the Humpback males are known for singing the longest and most complex songs in the animal kingdom. Humpbacks are highly inquisitive and will approach quite closely, showing little fear of boats.

The whale's colour is generally blackish with a white area covering the throat grooves. It has broad flukes with highly scalloped edges, moderately notched. The underside of the flukes are marked with a variable pattern of white, making each whale recognizable at the surface as it throws its tail into the air. The flippers are mottled black and white with white underneath.

Humpbacks often leap clear of the water, usually in an arching backflip, which brings the pale pleats of the throat into view. These whales can often be found lying motionless on the surface with one flipper hoisted like a sail. This raised flipper can slap the water hard, producing a noise like a gun shot. An even louder sound can be made by bringing the tail down sharply upon the water surface. This is called a lobtail