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Megaptera novaeangliae   (Borowski, 1781)

humpback whale
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Image of Megaptera novaeangliae (humpback whale)
Megaptera novaeangliae
Picture by Harasti, David

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | CoL | ITIS | WoRMS

Mammalia | Cetacea | Balaenopteridae

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Pelagic; oceanodromous (Ref. 75906); depth range 0 - 4000 m (Ref. 83346).  Tropical; 90°N - 90°S, 180°W - 180°E

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Introductions

Circumglobal. [Arabian Sea population: EN, D; Oceania population: EN, A1ad: IUCN 2010 (Ref. 84930)].

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm Max length : 1,890 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 936); max. published weight: 35.0 t (Ref. 1394)

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

They migrate from tropics (breeding areas) to polar or sub-polar regions, reaching the ice edges in both hemispheres (feeding areas); their migrations take them through oceanic zones (Ref. 1394). Depth range based on reported depth in Angola (Ref. 83346). Feed and breed in coastal waters, often near human population centres, and this helps make them one of the most familiar of the large whales. Feeds on krill and small schooling fish (Ref. 1394). According to a study in the Philippines, Babuyan Islands (121°36’00", 19°18’00) was verified as a breeding ground for this species, and humpback whale songs were recorded during this season. Social groups observed were lone adult, mother-calf pairs, two adults, mother-calf-escort, and a surface active mating group of 3 to 4 individuals (Ref. 77119). Adults length 1600 cm in Ref. 1394. Threats to this species are dynamite and cyanide fishing, pollution, and intrusion of foreign commercial fishing vessels (Ref. 77119), unregulated fishing activities of Taiwanese vessels, i.e. long-line and drift net fishing, and unconfirmed reports of pirate whaling (Ref. 77118). There were nine distinctive themes of humpback whale songs identified wherein 7 of which were common in the Philippines and Hawaii (Ref. 77118). Feeds and breeds in coastal waters, often near human population centres, and this helps make them one of the most familiar of the large whales. They migrate from tropics (breeding areas) to polar or sub-polar regions, reaching the ice edges in both hemispheres (feeding areas); their migrations take them through oceanic zones. Feeds on krill and small schooling fish (Ref. 1394). According to a study in the Philippines, Babuyan Islands (121°36’00", 19°18’00) was verified as a breeding ground for this species, and humpback whale songs were recorded during this season. Social groups observed were lone adult, mother-calf pairs, two adults, mother-calf-escort, and a surface active mating group of 3 to 4 individuals (Ref. 77119). Babuyan Islands (121°36’00", 19°18’00"), Philippines was verified as a breeding ground for this species. During this season social groups observed were lone adult, mother-calf pairs, two adults, mother-calf-escort, and a surface active mating group of 3 to 4 individuals (Ref. 77119). Associated activities involved cows with young calves escorted by males, aggressive competitive behavior, and singing (Ref. 78067).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Babuyan Islands (121°36’00", 19°18’00"), Philippines was verified as a breeding ground for this species. During this season social groups observed were lone adult, mother-calf pairs, two adults, mother-calf-escort, and a surface active mating group of 3 to 4 individuals (Ref. 77119). Associated activities involved cows with young calves escorted by males, aggressive competitive behavior, and singing (Ref. 78067).

Main reference References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Jefferson, T.A., S. Leatherwood and M.A. Webber. 1993. (Ref. 1394)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 115185)

CITES status (Ref. 108899)

Threat to humans

Human uses

Fisheries: commercial
FAO(fisheries: production) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

More information

Common names
Synonyms
Predators
Reproduction
Maturity
Spawning
Fecundity
Eggs
Egg development
Age/Size
Growth
Length-weight
Length-length
Morphology
Larvae
Abundance
References
Mass conversion

Internet sources

BHL | BOLD Systems | CISTI | DiscoverLife | FAO(fisheries: species profile; publication : search) | GenBank (genome, nucleotide) | GloBI | GOBASE | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | ispecies | PubMed | Scirus | Tree of Life | uBio | uBio RSS | Wikipedia (Go, Search) | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969): 0.2 - 10.2, mean 1.8 (based on 43796 cells).
Vulnerability (Ref. 71543)
High vulnerability (56 of 100)
Price category (Ref. 80766)
Unknown