Secrets of a Whale Tail

Secrets of a whale tail can be found if you look closely as every fluke tells us a story about each Humpback Whale that we meet. Humpback Whales have a wonderful swimming form and a round out dive is very common for this species after spending some time at the surface. Once they have reoxygenated after a few powerful exhalations and inhalations it is time to dive as they exhale one last time powerfully before arching their back and rounding out. During the round out sequence the fluke is lifted high and the underside is revealed perfectly which tells us the secrets of a whale tail. Each marking, scar and pattern is unique to that individual and how we can identify each whale through their very own fluke fingerprint.

Today we had many Humpback Whales on the move as the southbound migration settles into a steady rhythm. The whales we met today all had a story to tell with one individual in particular showing through their fluke that they were an Orca attack survivor. The tell tale signs of Orca teeth marks on the skin (known as rake marks) were clear to see and had rounded the edges of the fluke. Thankfully this lovely whale had escaped that particular attack and has grown into a very healthy, powerful Humpback whom the Orca are not likely to bother anymore. Breaching and inverted fluke slapping were wonderful to observe today as it provided further opportunities to collect good photo identification images of each of the lovely whales we met today.

Humpback whales tails are an extremely important element for the Whale, it is their form of defence and also, just as important, their form of communication. Sound is a very big part of the Language of the Whales and their tails form that language by many different forms of communications. Whether it be a tail slap, peduncle lob or the thrust to send their whole 40 ton bodies skyward, the Humpback Whale tail is vital to get their language across the oceans to everything and everyone in their environment. You can Learn the Language of the Whales on any of our tours as all cetaceans display the same or similar language. Next time you are out on a boat or witness a large plume of white water from a whale, remember you are looking at their language, the Language of the Whales.

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