What is a Whale Tubercle?

What is a whale tubercle? A whale tubercle is the golf ball sized bumps dotted on the upper and lower jaw of each Humpback Whale and each tubercle contains one hair follicle. Today the sky was clear and sea calm with a gentle rolling swell as we made our way towards the sighting grounds. Blows were sighted all around as multiple pods were on the move. Dark clouds on the horizon started to increase but the calm conditions remained as each pod shuffled towards Rottnest Island. A large tanker cruised past and it was interesting to observe how the pods carefully and confidently navigated around the obstacle with ease as they continued on with their journey southbound.

A commotion had started up amongst the other pods as it appeared one of the male Humpback Whales we had met earlier had approached an escort pod. The other male was not overly impressed with his approach as they pushed and shoved while chasing after the female. Powerfully moving past our bow it was incredible to be so close to these enormous adults and enjoy their company. Slowing slightly, the two big males had a few curious looks our way which provided the perfect opportunity to easily observe the individual whale tubercles on each Humpback and with sensitive nerve endings on each hair follicle they are very similar to the whiskers on your pet dog.

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2 thoughts on “What is a Whale Tubercle?”

  1. We had a fantastic time on board today, a very well presented tour. The crew, the vessel were absolutely amazing. Definitely recommend the VIP area. This was a birthday present from my Daughter Dani, I couldn’t of asked for a better gift. Thank you everyone.

    1. Whale Watch Western Australia

      Thank you so much Wayne for your kind words, much appreciated and it makes our day to hear you had such a wonderful time!

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