Megaptera novaeangliae   (Borowski, 1781)

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

Classification
Mammalia | Cetacea | Balaenopteridae
Common names | Synonyms | CoL | ITIS | WoRMS

Main reference
Jefferson, T.A., S. Leatherwood and M.A. Webber. 1993. (Ref. 1394)
References | Biblio | Coordinator | Collaborators

Size / Weight / Age
Max length : 1,890 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 936); max. published weight: 35.0 t (Ref. 1394)

Environment
Pelagic; oceanodromous (Ref. 75906); depth range 0 - 4000 m (Ref. 83346)

Climate / Range
Tropical; 90°N - 90°S, 180°W - 180°E

Distribution
Circumglobal. [Arabian Sea population: EN, D; Oceania population: EN, A1ad: IUCN 2010 (Ref. 84930)].
Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Introductions

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). 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. 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).

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)

CITES status (Ref. 94142)

Threat to humans




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

More information

Age/Size
Growth
Length-weight
Length-length
Morphology
Larvae
Abundance
References
Mass conversion

Internet sources
BHL | BOLD Systems | Check for other websites | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | DiscoverLife | FAO(fisheries: species profile; publication : search) | GenBank (genome, nucleotide) | GOBASE | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | ispecies | National databases | PubMed | Scirus | Sea Around Us | FishBase | Tree of Life | uBio | uBio RSS | Wikipedia (Go, Search) | Zoological Record

Estimation of some characteristics with mathematical models

Vulnerability (Ref. 71543)
High vulnerability (56 of 100)
Price category (Ref. 80766)
Unknown