Fast Facts
Type: Mammal
Diet: Omnivore
Size: 48 to 62.5 ft (14.6 to 19 m)
Weight: 40 tons (36 metric tons)
Group name: Pod
Protection status: Endangered

A humpback whale leaps from the ocean's surface!
A humpback whale leaps from the ocean’s surface!

Humpbacks are the noisiest whales, with males “singing” for up to 15 minutes at a time. The sounds they make are the most varied in the animal kingdom, ranging from high-pitched squeals to low, rumbling gurgles. Only males “sing” and experts think they do it to attract females or to let other males know they’re in the area.

humpback whales facts
A close-up snap of a humpback whale

Humpback whales are known for their magical songs, which travel for great distances through the world’s oceans. These sequences of moans, howls, cries, and other noises are quite complex and often continue for hours on end. Scientists are studying these sounds to decipher their meaning. It is most likely that humpbacks sing to communicate with others and to attract potential mates.

These whales are found near coastlines, feeding on tiny shrimp-like krill, plankton and small fish. Humpbacks migrate annually from summer feeding grounds near the poles to warmer winter breeding waters closer to the Equator.

Mothers and their young swim close together, often touching one another with their flippers with what appear to be gestures of affection. Females nurse their calves for almost a year, though it takes far longer than that for a humpback whale to reach full adulthood. Calves do not stop growing until they are ten years old.

humpback whales facts
A humpback whale’s tail (or fluke) rises from the water

Humpbacks are powerful swimmers, and they use their massive tail fin, called a fluke, to propel themselves through the water and sometimes completely out of it. These whales, like others, regularly “breach”. This is when the whales leap from the water before landing with a tremendous splash. Scientists aren’t sure if this breaching behavior serves some purpose, such as cleaning pests from the whale’s skin, or whether whales simply do it for fun!

Photos: Getty Images UK
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COMMENTS

  • Moge

    So helpful for homework

  • paul

    cool

  • Thomas

    Let's take action!

  • wyatt

    lets stop people killing humpbacks

  • wyatt

    help humpbacks

  • Izzy

    pics= awesome Useful for homework!

  • Freya

    I saw a humpback whale while whale watching and it did a full turn in the air

  • jensen

    great information

  • Aziza

    Hump back whales are so cool

  • PHILIP

    I love whales :3

  • i LUV WHALES!

  • Zaza

    i love humpback whales!

  • Matillda

    that helped me with my homework

  • EmilyGarcia

    this really helped me on my assignment

  • ella754

    good facts

  • kandis

    i love humpback whales.

  • Sydne285

    FUN!!!!!!!!!

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    awesome

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    cool fun awesome

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    it is awesome

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    awsome

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    Cool

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    I luv whales

  • O

    GREAT WEBSITE

  • fangy

    AWESOME!!!!!!!

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    coool

  • shakira

    #brilliant

  • Alli

    Happy

  • looooooooooooooooooooooooooooool

    hi lol

  • Whale of a time

    Lol whale are dumb

  • Poppy200546

    Love animals when Im older I want to be a vet love the NG page amazing pictures and facts

  • sdfhk

    awsome i luv wales

  • Radostin

    EPIC!!!! LOVE FACTS

  • DAVE

    WHALES ARE DUMB

  • DAVE

    WHALES ARE FAT AND TO STUPID FOR ME AND MY BEST AWSOME FRIEND

  • Dragen_Master_392

    It is use full. BUTT I want to know more. I like trains

  • jake11

    nis

  • Presh

    OMG That is AMAZING, Ive never read anything so cool!

  • Nitelightin

    Lolol

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    Sick sick sick Lolololololol

  • Im writing this in bed

    dident read or look at a bit of it its just boring boring boring i only whent to it for the song and couldent find it i whanted to go to facts about tornados any way if you were wondering realy is Hope in real life not kidding!

  • bhvgfghbgvf

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    National Geographic Kids is Awesome!

  • Loocas

    Great splash dude

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    cool

  • Isabel

    coolio

  • Letrei

    COOL

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    awsome

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    wow

  • Cherrybakewell123

    Sooo awesome!!

  • IAMAWESOME

    I love whales!

  • Charlotte

    Cool I like whales

  • lollies1529

    awesome whales

  • peckie100

    SOOOOO AWESOME! i have always loved whales #epic

  • Ciaramcmahon

    Most interesting facts ever!!!????????

  • Thom

    Can you add an orca page? I cant find it :(

  • Rowan Cooke

    Wow, cool!

  • Rowan Cooke

    Wow, cool!

  • bradywilson

    a type of whale should be called awesomeness

  • 13andstillcrazyaboutanimals2

    My great-grandad once got swallowed by a humpback whale and he lived to tell the tale! #dejavuorwhat! I dunno if he was kidding though :))

  • Nigel lane

    i like you comics

  • 1234parroy

    Cool work hey heres a fact you havent got . Their breeding songs last up to 30 minutes to attract a female or mate by whistling.

  • mayeli

    great most best ever

  • Whales!!!!!!!!!

    I love whales!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  • licia

    awesome#!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ivy4

    wha who for whales!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • bagpipesandco

    Whales are such incredible mammals! This really made my day, Thanks a Bunch, Sally and peeps xxx

  • coolsome

    epic

  • stacy

    there are so much good facts about dolphins;)

  • Dea

    Pretty fascinating arent they mate?

  • charlotte

    good

  • charlotte

    good

  • charlotte

    good

  • isebell

    I think that whales are very harmless

  • isbella

    amzing

  • isebell

    cool

  • Isabelle

    I think whales are beautiful

  • lulu

    wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!best thing ever

  • sophie_niamhxx

    I love whales!

  • Nikodem

    I liked the whale song.It has SPLASHED my day.

  • Nikodem

    I liked the whale song.It has SPLOSHED my day.

  • tiger

    so cool

  • saanchi

    no1 COOL no2 COOL and guess what no3 COOL

  • Eva

    Its AMAZING!!!

  • Eva

    Its incredible that there are such amazing creatures in the ocean! Theyre beautiful!

  • Shanzie

    Cool , I have just read the bottlenose dolophin

  • Lola18 7654 xxx

    This my favourite bit of my mag I would rate it As 100 out of 100 Thank you for writing this mag and giving it too children From Lola

PDSA – pet protectors

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