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Whale play

Terry Bailey

Joined January 2011

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Artist's Description

The Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) are a baleen whale, the rorqual species, adults range in length from 12–16 metres (39–52 ft) and weigh approximately 36,000 kilogrammes (79,000 lb).

The Megaptera novaeangliae is identified by it distinctive body shape, the unusually long pectoral fins, in addition, to its knobbly head. The Megaptera novaeangliae is an acrobatic animal, often breaching and slapping the water for communication and sometimes just for fun.

Males Megaptera novaeangliae produce a complex songs which lasts for 10 to 20 minutes and are repeated for hours at a time. The purpose of these songs is not yet clear, although research suggests it may have a role mating.

The Megaptera novaeangliae is is a migratory species found throughtout the world’s oceans and seas travelling up to 25,000 kilometres (16,000 mi) each year. These whales feed throughout the summer months, in polar waters, migrating to tropical and sub-tropical waters in winter to breed.

The diet of the Megaptera novaeangliae consists mostly of krill and small fish using different feeding methods including the bubble net method, whereby, whales expel bubbles that help to entrap their prey

Megaptera novaeangliae were targets for the whaling industry, however, before the whaling moratorium of 1966 the Megaptera novaeangliae numbers fell by 90%. Stocks have since partially recovered; even though, entanglement in fishing gear, collisions with ships, and noise pollution continues to cause concern for these graceful creatures. Nevertheless, the numbers have risen to about 80,000 animals worldwide allowing eco-tourists to marvel at this majestic creature which was almost hunted to extinction.

Artwork Comments

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