Humpback Whale

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These amazing whales migrate throughout the oceans, sing complex vocalizations and use nets of bubbles to capture schools of fish. The humpback whale populations were decimated by whaling and they are currently listed as endangered.

The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is one of the world’s most popular mammals. They are known for their spectacular leaps out water, distinctive tail fins (flukes), and their melodic singing in the ocean’s depths. The humpback is a baleen whale, a filter feeder that strains shrimp-like krill, tiny fish, or plankton through its baleen plates. It can grow to nearly 52 feet in length and weigh anywhere between 30 to 50 tons. They live off both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the United States and throughout the world.

Humpback whales were decimated by commercial whaling in the 19th and early 20th century. They were one of the first species protected under Endangered Species Conservation Act, the predecessor the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1970. When the ESA was passed in 1973, the humpback whale was listed as endangered wherever found. Humpback whales are also protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Thanks to global conservation efforts including the Endangered Species Act, the current population has rebounded to nearly 80,000 Humpback whales up from a low-point of 10,000 to 15,000. Let’s keep it that way, when the aliens do come, there will be plenty of Humpback Whales to talk to them.