September 15, 2014
Panache of the Humpback Whale
- as seen by -John Delaney
Perhaps the star of the great whales is the humpback, a standout performer among the many species of the world.
Much of what humpbacks do appears thrilling to observers. They often slap the surface of the water with their elongated pectoral fins and their tails (above, in Antongil Bay, Madagascar.) Groups of humpbacks feeding on herring, sand lance, and other small fish create monumental spectacles, erupting on the surface in an effort to engulf entire schools of fish. And they regularly throw their entire bodies out of the water in an activity called breaching.
Of course, other whales do these things, but not with the panache of the humpback.