La baleine à bosse (Megaptera novaeangliae), humpback, is a species of baleen whale. This whale is a mammal large : Adults usually reach 13 to 14 meters long and weigh an average 25 tonnes. The humpback whale performs spectacular jumps out of water, has long pectoral fins and his singing is very elaborate. She comes to St. Mary between July and September. One sees some, Latecomers, until end of November. Humpback whales are recognizable by their imposing body with the top of the animal entirely black, below rather whitish. The head and the lower jaw are covered with minute protrusions called tubercles, characteristics of the species.

The large caudal nageoire, black and white, fate largely out of the water when the whale dives.
The posterior edge of the corrugated fin]. The drawings of this fin are unique to each whale and can be used to its individual identification.

Each pectoral fin (also black and white, and specific to each individual drawing) can reach up to one third of the length of the body. This is much more than any other cetacean.

When the humpback whale surfaced and expelled by venting air from the lungs, breath causes a cloud up 3 meters, shaped cauliflower.

The dorsal fin appears out of the water shortly after the issuance of this breath. It continues to be visible when the animal is back round to start a dive, but disappears before the caudal fin emerges.

The humpback whale has ventral grooves and baleen, parrallèles kind of grooves that range from the lower jaw to the navel (approximately up to half of the belly of the animal).
Baleen is horny productions lip that filter and trap prey food.
The humpback whale has 270 to 400 baleen dark arranged on each side of the mouth.
Females are larger than males. Females carry a lobe (that is lacking in males) about 15 centimeters in diameter in their genital area. This allows to distinguish males from females so you can see the underside of the whale, because the penis of the male, however, remains almost always hidden in the genital slit. Whales usually give birth every two or three years. Gestation lasts about eleven months]. Sometimes some females reproduce for two consecutive years.

The calf measurement at birth 4 to 4,5 meters and weighs about 700 kg. He is exclusively breastfed by their mothers during the first six months, then it continues to be breastfed while starting to feed itself during the next six months. Calves leave their mother at the beginning of their second year, when conventionally measured 9 meters long.

Young reach sexual maturity around the age of five years. The final adult height is reached shortly after. This is commonly 15 to 16 meters for males and 16 to 17 meters for females, for weight 40 tonnes. The largest specimen found measured 19 meters and pectoral fins 6 meters]. Humpback whales can live 40 to 100 years.

(source wikipédia)

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