Humpback Whales

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Marine Biology Research Project
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Cetacea
Family: Balaenopteridae
Common Name: Humpback whale
Genus Species: Megaptera Novaeangliae
Common Name: Humpback whale
Genus Species: Megaptera Novaeangliae

General Description:
A. Body Symmetry: Bilateral
B. Special Pigments or Coloration: Dark grey with lighter underbelly; flippers and flukes are grey and spotted with white C. Habitat: (Zone) Benthic and coastal
(Geographic): From Alaska to the Caribbean
D. Specific Characteristics:
1) Reproduction: Polygamous; Seasonal breeding
2) Feeding Techniques: Filter feeders; Bubble netting, Ring of foam, Lunging. 3) Defense Techniques: Humpbacks have few predators other than humans, and don’t have any defensive techniques. Some of the largest animals on Earth are the gentlest. The humpback whale is a stellar example of gentle, with its diet, behavior, and complete lack of natural predators. Whales as a species are typically depicted as large animals, understandable with the smallest member of the species, the dwarf sperm whale, measuring on average 9 feet and weighing in at around 400 pounds. The humpback, however, is one of the largest whales, coming in just behind the finback and blue whales. Humpbacks are anywhere from 48 to 63 feet long and weigh an average of 40 tons. They’re recognizable by their large, dark grey bodies with a “hump” shaped dorsal fin and unusually long white pectoral fins. The humpback’s genus name, Magaptera Novaengliae, means “big-winged, New Englander” because the largest colony of whales was along the northeast coast of the United States in the Atlantic. But humpback whales are also found vastly between California and Russia. They are migratory marine mammals, and often spend their summers in high latitude areas such as the Gulfs of Maine or Alaska, and then swim south to breed in the subtropical waters in the Dominican Republic and Hawaiian...
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