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Fun Facts About Whale Watching in Ka’anapali Beach; Bubble Net Feeding, Baleen Plates & More
The whale season in Hawaii occurs during the winter months and refers to the return of the north pacific humpback whales. With Gemini Sailing, we book winter whale watching tours from December 15 to April 15. Morning whale and afternoon whale watching is an exciting way to spend time on the ocean while being entranced by these massive yet graceful creatures is a sight to behold. While enjoying our whale watching tour, having some facts about whales can make the adventure more interesting. With that in mind, we at Gemini Sailing have included several fun facts concerning whale watching.
Fun Whale Watching Facts
1) Humpback whales are so name because of the hump that appears during diving, when they arch their backs prior just before performing a dive. Few humpback whales actually have a hump on their back.
2) Covered with tubercles, or knobs, the humpback whale’s head is consumed by them. Within each of the knobs, at least one piece of stiff hair is contained. Though some believe it is used to detect motion, the actual purpose of the hair remains unknown.
3) The whales need to think about breathing unlike humans. Whales have lungs roughly the size of a Toyota Prius. Additionally, humpback whales have two blowholes, one for each lung. Because they have to think about breathing, they will only rest half of their brain at a time and sleep with one eye open.
4) A female humpback is pregnant for about a year and has live births. Once the calf is born, the calf will consume approximately 50 gallons of milk per day.
5) On the underside of their tails, each whale has distinct markings, much like fingerprints. To identify and track individual whales, scientists take advantage of these markings.
6) The humpback whale uses a hunting technique known as bubble net feeding, where they will circle and blow bubbles at their prey until the prey is contained in a tight ball during the summer months in the Northwest as they do not feed while in Hawaii.
7) Humpback whales have what’s called baleen plates as opposed to teeth. Separating the tiny krill shrimp they eat from the water, these plates act like a filter.
8) These whales can grow to 60-feet long and weigh between 25 – 40 tons, and the north pacific humpbacks are the fifth largest whale species on the planet. The males are shorter than the females, like most whale species and the huge tails generally measuring up to 18 feet wide.
9) In the early 1950s in Hawaii the humpback whale “songs” were first recorded. The songs last roughly between 7-to-30 minutes according to recent research, but they will easily repeat them for hours on end. Additionally, their songs can be heard up to 20 miles away.
10) Humpback whales are taught at a young age as opposed to being born with the gift and only male humpbacks sing.