Talk:Humpback whale

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Featured article Humpback whale is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on October 15, 2004.
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June 29, 2004 Featured article candidate Promoted
April 25, 2007 Featured article review Kept
Current status: Featured article
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Killer Whale Predation[edit]

The article states that killer whale kills of humpback calves have never been witnessed. This article begs to differ: Can someone more familiar with wikipedia editing correct this? I'm kind of nervous about barging in and just pulling out an entire section of page, even if it is inaccurate. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:29, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

Whale Watching[edit]

Specifically the areas listed in the square Summer by North Pacific. This square incorrectly identifies a Canadian city (Vancouver) as an area. It should list the area as British Columbia, which is the province. In fact Vancouver is located on the Georgia Strait and baleen whale sightings in that area are extremely rare. Seamountie (talk) 04:28, 14 June 2009 (UTC) There is a part in the description section, that's incorrect. The Pectoral fins are almost half the length of the body and the distinctive identification marks that are just like a finger print are on the Flukes aka the tail. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:48, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

More confusing wording[edit]

This bit doesn't really make sense to me. "Internationally this species is considered least concern from a conservation standpoint as of 2008."

I would change it to "Internationally this species is classified as 'least concern' from a conservation standpoint as of 2008."

I originally thought it was written by a non-native speaker or just badly written until I checked and found out that 'least concern' is an official IUCN category. I think it need quote marks at least. I would have added it myself, but most of my edits were done before I registered so no changes to semi-protected pages for me. If someone else could do it that would be great. Thanks. Mistermanana (talk) 18:45, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

I think you are right. I added quotes for clarity. Rlendog (talk) 02:15, 2 August 2009 (UTC)


I was going to add a line that says Migaloo may well be an albino and, as such, may not be able to breed owing to a low sperm count. This was based on the ABC News article quoting Professor Harriman of the Southern Cross University whale research centre. The article is here:

However, I couldn't do it as there is no edit tab on the page - it appears to be protected, so could someone with editing powers please update the Migaloo section with this new information? Thanks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:28, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Whale Watching Table[edit]

A small thing but it just looks like some syntax error. In the summer seasons it isn't broken up correctly between the atlantic and pacific columns so places like alaska and california are found on the atlantic side instead of the pacific side and antartica is listed as north pacific.-- (talk) 20:00, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

Note that the Bay of Biscay is not a modern wintering ground in the North Atlantic. More appropriate would be to replace that with Silver Bank, north of the Dominican Republic, or to generalize to the Greater Caribbean. Silver Bank is the main aggregation site for humpback whales in the North Atlantic in winter.

editsemiprotected - Major Typo[edit]

There is a typo in the whaling section. the moratorium went into force in 1986, not 1966. See Please make this change.

Article title[edit]

Why a capital W? Wouldn't Humpback whale be more in alignment with the Manual of Style? — OwenBlacker (Talk) 20:44, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

Indeed, could someone change that, please? – Acdx (talk) 17:06, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
The Cetacean Wikiproject (WP:CETA) has standardized the naming convention for cetacean species to capitalize the common name of species. There have been many long discussions of that over on that project, feel free to raise the issue there. Neil916 (Talk) 17:33, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

WP:CETA capitalisation discussion[edit]

are they really whales[edit]

My school had people come and say that they aren't whales they are dolphins —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:37, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

They are certainly not dolphins. But even if they were dolphins, they would still be whales. ErikHaugen (talk) 07:00, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

Whales and dolphins are both cetaceans, but are not the same thing. Humpback whales are whales, and not dolphins, and dolphins are not whales, but a different group defined by their distinctive features. Bergjacobe^^ (talk) 18:35, 24 February 2016 (UTC)


A discussion of the humpback's contribution to aerodynamics is warranted here, in my opinion. See [[1]]. At very least, I think the tubercule section should note that they also appear along the leading edge of the pectoral flippers. Bluej100 (talk) 03:51, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

Black / white colouring of Humpback populations[edit]

I seem to recall once reading that a difference between the southern hemisphere and northern hemisphere populations of Humpback whales is that the southern hemisphere whales have a predominantly white belly, whereas the northern hemisphere whales are blacker. Is there any truth to this? Anyone know any sources? Would be good to get a little more information about colouring in the article. --Stuart mcmillen (talk) 06:40, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

Needs moore references[edit]

Many of the "facts" have no citations. Which "researchers"? Who are they? Thanks, :) Loopy48 (talk) 00:45, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Also, too many repetitious images. Decreases impact of each image and breaks up the text flow with large gaps of white space only. Ugh. Loopy48 (talk) 20:53, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

Work needed[edit]

Hi everyone, this article currently appears near the top of the cleanup listing for featured articles, with several cleanup tags. Cleanup work needs to be completed on this article, or a featured article review may be needed, cheers Tom B (talk) 22:57, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Agree. I am trying to rehabilitate a few articles at FAR currently but would like to see this kept. Casliber (talk · contribs) 23:42, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Migration Path(s) Alaska to Hawaii - Is there any information regarding this? I have been unsuccessful in locating anything other than the end points. Is there ongoing research, including how the whales navigate? Glenn Cannon 6 February 2012 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Gacannon (talkcontribs) 07:36, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

False informations[edit]

We'll have to change parts of the first paragraph because obviously a humback whale is larger than 1-2 m and weighs more than 3 kg. Although it has "long things", I don't think it is appropriate to say so. Finally, I doubt humpbacks can be "found in cars and water bottles". —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dmerette (talkcontribs) 13:06, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

It was obviously vandalism done by some bored preteen. It's been reverted. You could have easily done this yourself instead of complaining on here. It's not something difficult to change. OldBabyBlue (talk) 19:39, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Winter Feeding[edit]

I am no whale expert, but I've seen a group of humpback whales joining killer whales in a feeding frenzy complete with birds circling overhead. This was yesterday (29th December 2013) near Sommarøy in Norway (inside arctic circle) on a whale watching excursion. This continued for about half an hour. An engine failure and fix later, our boat caught up with the whales by searching for a large school of fish with the use of a fishfinder.

This is completely at odds with the notion that they do not feed over winter. Maybe the behaviour is different for whales that do not migrate to warmer climates? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:51, 30 December 2013 (UTC)


The Humpback whale is listed on Appendix I[1] of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) as this species has been categorized as being in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant proportion of their range and CMS Parties strive towards strictly protecting these animals, conserving or restoring the places where they live, mitigating obstacles to migration and controlling other factors that might endanger them. In addition, Spinner dolphin is covered by Memorandum of Understanding for the Conservation of Cetaceans and Their Habitats in the Pacific Islands Region (Pacific Cetaceans MOU). — Preceding unsigned comment added by Water manager (talkcontribs) 10:44, 31 August 2011 (UTC)


In the Migaloo section, the word Aboriginals should read Aborigines. Aborigine is the noun, Aboriginal is the adjective. Pedantic matter I know, but proper grammar is important. Lezman (talk) 23:02, 12 September 2011 (UTC)

Whale Watching and other facts - South Western Group[edit]

Additions needed to the “Whale Watching Table” There is no mention of the South Western Group at all. As this is, and has been, a multimillion dollar industry for W.A., and it is one of the larger groups on the planet, it needs to be included. Approximately 35000 humpbacks range from the North West Pilbara coast off Western Australia where they give birth, to down past Perth between Rottnest Island and onward to Antarctica to feed. They have been doing this since prehistoric times and during early colonisation of Perth, the phrase “You could walk from Perth to Rottnest on the back of a humpback whale” was coined due to the sheer numbers of them before whaling started. This corridor is now referred to as the “Humpback Highway” when they begin heading South around September each year. (full migration data easily available to you elsewhere) Other facts about the South West Group (one of the 6 major worldwide groups) • The females in the group are the largest of any other group • South West Humpback have all white undersides, not mottled like the Hawaiian or other groups (another contributor has asked to confirm this question on the talk page) • The males head South first, sometimes in pairs or groups, the mothers and calves follow later • The group have gone without eating for about 5 months, this is the reason why you can see the rippled bumps on their backs rear of the dorsal fin as they have lost so much weight their spines have become defined. • In (1986 or 9?) A South West Humpback male returned to the East coast of Australia instead of the West coast for reasons unknown where his song was so successful he outbid all other males for the females. • The following season, all the East Coast males had copied the West Coast whales’ song and only one song was hear all that season. (I don’t remember the exact year, but can find out)

Other Humpback facts

The milk produced by the mothers is thick in consistency like chewing gum and is close to 50% fat, calves can gain as much as 45kg in weight in one day

Humpbacks move slowly, around 5km/h The fastest known time for a humpback to pass Perth on the ‘Highway’ was 3 days, the slowest, 10 days.

Earwax has been found up to 1 metre in length (and is used to help identify age)

Lungs the size of cars (each) can inhale and exhale that volume in around 2 seconds

Combined weight of testes can be 1 tonne

Contributors notes. All this information is from a visiting Marine Biologist on board and the regular tour guide on a whale watching tour I did in September 2011. They offered much more information (of which none is cited on this Wiki entry) and had props for demonstration and an actual inner ear bone (larger than a softball) which was very dense, explaining that the density of the bone slows down the sound waves to assist in direction finding/point of origin of the sound. I can attest to the inquisitiveness of humpbacks as the 2 we encountered stopped swimming, checked us out for over 15 minutes, lifting their heads out of the water, rolling onto their backs as they swam under the boat (can clearly see their white undersides) fin slapping and tail slapping as well as blowing bubbles for brief periods. After that time they lost interest and continued swimming South. (I have it all on HD video and still photos)

The tour I was on (one of many available in Perth) Check out ""

Perhaps some of my data you may choose not to include until you verify it, however, in the very least, in the Whale Watching section, the existence of this group must be recognised. Tanukikousagi (talk) 01:46, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

Well, perhaps you should add it yourself instead of complaining about it. 35,000? That's either a typo or an exaggeration. There's about 20,000 that migrate off the east and west coasts combined. And humpback lungs are no where near the size of cars. SaberToothedWhale (talk) 00:58, 24 November 2011 (UTC)
Well, SaberToothedWhale I would add it myself however the page is controlled and the talk section was the only place I could add this information. I do not have permission to edit directly. Second, I am not 'complaining', I am merely making a suggestion that this data be included by whomever is able to update the page. 35000 is not an exaggeration as it came directly from the Marine Bioligist herself, they have been tracking the migration for years. In addition, a recent article has stated that the West Coast of Australia has one of the largest, if not the largest collections of cetaceans in the world.

All the data is there to be verified. Check it out if you feel the urge. I wanted to reply to directly but could not find a way to do so. Apologies to others who read this. Tanukikousagi (talk) 01:59, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

You only have to edit for a short while to edit protected pages. I believe it's only a few days. I honestly don't care what figure this so-called "marine biologist" gave. The most recent estimates (made by scientists studying this population for years) are no where near 35,000. A "recent article"? So a newspaper? So what they said is worthless, because it's a newspaper. And to reply directly all you had to do was go to my talk page and create a new section. It's quite simple, really. SaberToothedWhale (talk) 01:16, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

Feeding 4.1[edit]

Confusing sentences: The whales then suddenly swim upward through the 'net', mouths agape, swallowing thousands of fish in one gulp. Plated grooves in the whale's mouth allow the creature to easily drain all the water that was initially taken in.

Possible replacement: The whales then suddenly swim upward through the 'net', mouths agape, engulfing thousands of fish. Pleated grooves in the whale's throat expand to hold the great volume of water and prey. Then the water is forced back out the mouth with the baleen acting as a strainer, trapping the fish inside to be promptly swallowed. Zipzip50 (talk) 06:12, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

Famous Humpbacks[edit]

Does this section really need to exist? I can see it getting excessively long (which it might already be) in the near future. I understand mentioning Migaloo and Humphrey, but all these other whales? Mr. Splashypants? Really? Does anyone else agree this section should be trimmed? Perhaps removed altogether? SaberToothedWhale (talk) 01:08, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

I gave plenty of time to reply, but no one bothered to say anything, so I removed most of the content. I decided to keep Migaloo and Humphrey. I honestly hate this age of social media where every little animal that makes the local news gets some stupid name and now is considered notable enough to be included on wikipedia? Why? Because they existed? Stupid as hell. SaberToothedWhale (talk) 00:34, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

Influence of Star Trek IV[edit]

Does anyone know if the movie Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home had any effect on conservation efforts or reduction in whaling? I think I once read that following the movie, hunting of humpbacks essentially stopped altogether. I'm not sure that could be correct as article says the ban has been in place since 1966, 20 years before the movie was made. But, has anyone else heard of Star Trek having an impact? (talk) 06:47, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

The species was already severely reduced worldwide long before that movie came out, so I'd so no, it had no effect on the species' conservation. SaberToothedWhale (talk) 22:52, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
But what was the effect after the movie? Did numbers being to recover dramatically or were numbers recovering already and the movie made no impact on it? (talk) 12:07, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
Nothing (or close to it). Numbers were already increasing before the movie came out. SaberToothedWhale (talk) 22:10, 22 January 2012 (UTC)


So, do they live up to 48 years, or 100? This article states both. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:21, 9 April 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 28 July 2013[edit]

Please change "Humpbacks feed only in summer, in polar waters, and migrate to tropical or subtropical waters to breed and give birth in the winter." to "Humpbacks feed mostly in the summer in polar waters and feed whenever the opportunity arises as they migrate to tropical or subtropical waters where they give birth and breed in the winter. It was commonly accepted that whales didn't feed while migrating but whales are regularly seen and documented by whales researchers in the beautiful waters of the Kimberley, Northern Australia, feeding on schools of bait fish before and after giving birth."

recent studies by researchers investigating the effect of a LNG project at James Price Point on the whale population observed tens of thousands of whales between 2011 and 2012 with many documented feeding periods being observed and recorded. Angelamcintosh (talk) 12:25, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

They've also been documented feeding in southeast Alaska in winter and probably a host of other places. And I would take out the "beautiful waters" part -- sounds likes advertising. SHFW70 (talk) 19:58, 28 July 2013 (UTC)
Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. Rivertorch (talk) 06:59, 5 August 2013 (UTC)


"Migaloo" redirects here. For other uses, see Migaloo (disambiguation).

Please add {{redirect|Migaloo}} to the Migaloo section since Migaloo redirects to it, and there are other uses. -- (talk) 03:21, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

Done -Ryan 04:32, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

"In popular media"[edit]

I see no benefit whatsoever in having an unreferenced "in popular media" section that provides no analysis of either the role of humpback whales in popular media or the impact depictions in popular media had on humpback whales. A list of examples does not improve our readers' understanding of humpback whales at all, and there are WP:OR issues. Thus I'll remove the section. Huon (talk) 19:48, 1 January 2015 (UTC)

Error in description[edit]

The description says ″The two most enduring mention the higher maneuverability afforded by long fins, and the usefulness of the increased surface area for temperature control when migrating between warm and cold climates.″ - this doesn't make sense, although I haven't edited it as I don't know what it is trying to say. The two most enduring mention... what? ... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:05, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

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  1. ^ "Appendix I" of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS). As amended by the Conference of the Parties in 1985, 1988, 1991, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2005 and 2008. Effective: 5th March 2009.