Day eight - Gentle giant of the ocean - Humpback whale and his fin
Summer feeding grounds near Husavik
The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is a species of baleen whale. One of the larger rorqual species, adults range in length from 12–16 m and weigh around 25–30 tons. The humpback has a distinctive body shape, with long pectoral fins and a knobbly head. It is known for breaching and other distinctive surface behaviors, making it popular with whale watchers.
They feed in polar waters, and migrate to tropical or subtropical waters to breed and give birth, fasting and living off their fat reserves. Their diet consists mostly of krill and small fish.
The long black and white tail fin can be up to a third of body length.
Several hypotheses attempt to explain the humpback's pectoral fins, which are proportionally the longest fins of any cetacean. 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 possibly supported this adaptation.