Humpback Whales
Introduction

NATURE’s Humpback Whales follows these migrating marine mammals and presents their unique singing and hunting habits.

Graceful and magnificent, humpback whales inspire awe in young and old alike. These marine mammals travel great distances to take advantage of the best breeding grounds and feeding spots. North Pacific humpbacks, for example, mate and give birth in Hawaii and then travel to Alaska each summer to feed.

These gentle giants are famous for their singing abilities — belting out seductive ballads to attract mates or to challenge other would-be suitors. But they also have other talents. Their unique hunting skill, called bubblenet feeding, involves a group of humpbacks working together to capture schools of herring. Each whale has a particular role in the process: One whale swims in a circle while blowing bubbles under a school of herring. When the bubbles rise, the school of herring can not escape and form into a tight ball in the center. Other whales vocalize — grunting or screaming — to scare the herring to the surface. The whales then rise with their mouths wide open to capture large amounts of fish.

Trek across the oceans with these astounding creatures and discover more revealing details about their wonder-filled, watery ways.

Online content for Humpback Whales was originally posted January 2000.

  • Heather Isenberger

    I think it is great that PBS or what ever website this is ,will put cool pictures for children to see. It is pretty awesome the animal God sent us on this earth.

  • lisa

    wow my kids will love this, they all love fish and stuf like dat (that)

  • student

    is there anything about why scientists thing the first song of the whales was to attract a mate?

  • A Learner

    How did it get its name?

  • non-o-yo-beeswax

    how do the whales communicate with each other?

  • Maria

    how did they get there name

  • Becky

    My husband and I are on vacation on Oahu. A couple of nights ago we were sitting out on our balcony and looking out to the ocean when we saw this huge spout. We were just trying to decide what it was when out came the fluke of one of these creatures. It brought tears to my eyes. Now every morning we get up and sit out there and watch. We see a few every day and they’re still bringing tears to my eyes. What magnificient creatures!

  • Bruce

    I am going to the Sea of Cortez to go out and witness the calving stage and would like to view this wonderful show again. It does not seem to be available on these sites. Can you direct me?

  • Blubber Boy

    Currently in Cabo San Lucas, enjoying many humpbacks from the balcony all day.
    Male, female, and their babies. Wow. I am so glad that we are able to see them and enjoy them. Bible- Chapter 1 vs 20-23 tells me where they came from.

  • kyle loughrin

    Oh my goodness!!! I just absolutely love humpback whales!! They are huge!!! I used to own one when I was a kid, but i lost it one day when we were swimming in the ocean. It was a sad day for all of us. I was distraught!! But now I own about three of them!!!

  • josh

    they are so so ugly

  • Talla

    I love whales

  • judy beckham

    Susan, My sentiment too!

  • kyle

    How do they… you know… I mean they are so big how does “nature” work??? JW…

  • luke

    this is amazing,awsome, and cool

  • brittany

    hi i love to study about marine life and i wish to be a marine boilogist and i want to help save any marine life

  • unknown

    my bro loves hunpback whales

  • Miriam Godet

    Everything that has of beauty to be in the esplendor of the whales and the dolphins!

    The brilliant and charmer secret of the deepenings of waters…

    LET US FIGHT FOR THE PRESERVATION OF THE WHALES AND THE DOLPHINS.

  • chris

    I like it so much:-)

  • Tabatha

    humpback whales. they are okay but they are just like anyother animal.the only reason i am on here is cause my teacher is making me do this booring page.humpback whales.humpback whales.humpback whales. they are okay but they are just like anyother animal.the only reason i am on here is cause my teacher is making me do this booring page.humpback whales.they are okay but they are just like anyother animal.the only reason i am on here is cause my teacher is making me do this booring page. THEY ARE ANIMALS NOT ALIENS SO MOVE ON TO A COOLER ANIMAL LIKE A LIGER OR MONKEY.:]]

  • daniel

    humpback whales are my favorite! i think that the picture is so cute. my teacher is making us reasearch them and im so excited!

  • Amy Nora

    Wow… What beautiful creatures. I plan on going to Cobo San Lucas just too see them. I can’t wait!!! And by the way, all of you arguing about where they came from, need to just chill out. Let people believe what they choose to believe. Remember, its their life. Not yours

  • dalton

    my little brother likes hump back whales.

  • Lola-licous313

    Your right Heather, humpbacks are awsome! i luv em’!
    my fav movie is Whale Rider. i luv all the animals God
    created. And pinecone, two things. one, God IS real,and two, why is your name pincone?

  • Duffman

    humpbacks are so cool i really enjoy them all those pictures are awsoume exept when they are washed up on the beach i am ten as well how cool is that 10 lol rofl soz

  • girl

    i love humpback whales!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and i am 11!!!! you should love them to!!!!!!!!

  • Marissa

    Humpbacks are so COOL!!!! And i’m 10.

  • zac

    save the wales pleaseeeeeee they need you they only have births every 2- years

  • caleb

    I cant belive people hunt these when its against the law theyre losing population fast those guys should be arested. God made the animals so wounderful I wish these people would stop killing them! sorry if I startled you guys.

  • brian

    i love whels but my fave is the orca aka killer whale.this is very educatinol.it is sad how ppl hunt thes beautiful animal.god has blesst us with such an amzzing animal shuch as whales.

  • jessica

    I’m doing some reserch whales, there so cool. Who dosn’t love whales?Some people might not,but I love them.When I was about 5 (five years ago)I didn’t even want too see a cartoon versin of them.Now I love them.By the way who’s a kid on this?

  • alanna

    i love humpback whales they are so cool

  • Troy

    Hey these Whales are cool to study im taking a science class and am studying for a essay on whales. This was very helpful

  • Em4Murder

    Whales definitely are amazing animals. and they need our help as well!

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  • emily

    uhhh…. just wondering what is the length of a whales spinal cord?if anyone knows please answer! :D

  • joseph ruiz

    this is rather a message to reflect on the beautiful nature that we possess but often do not value.
    I hope that we reflect and begin to care what we have

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    The website needs more GOOD information. This is the guy who wrote this, and the link to the page about him:About the Writer

    David Malakoff is a journalist covering research discoveries and the politics of science for SCIENCE MAGAZINE in Washington, D.C. His writing has appeared in a wide range of venues, including THE ECONOMIST, THE WASHINGTON POST, and ABCNews.com.

    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/humpback-whales/production-credits/2876/

  • sam callison

    how did they get those bumps all over there faces???

  • Stephen Rhodes Treadwell

    I absolutely love whales! It’s something I’m well known for. That’s how I got my email address; whale lover. I’ve been collecting them since I was 12. I’ve been Jonah at a few Halloween costume parties because of my love of them.

  • marcail

    whales are awsome! but they are not very pretty! I’m 11yrs old.

  • darkangel

    what is the humpback whale Latin name?

  • Maia Chandler

    I think whales are one of the most amazing creatures God made. Their mating call is so cool.

  • Liviepop

    whales all the way!!!!!!!!!! o hey pop!!

  • owen

    SAVE THE WHALES!!!

  • mrs.carter

    thats why the call them hump back whales. Because they hump in the back.

  • Stephen Rhodes Treadwell

    Marcail says whales are not very pretty. That’s not necessarily true. Blue whales are pretty & so are belugas.

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  • The Lamb

    uhhh…. just wondering what is the length of a whales spinal cord?if anyone knows please answer! :D.

    The Lamb

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    Vallarta, Mexcio and we are awaiting the return of the Humpback whales for the 2008/2009 breeding and birthing season. If you’re going to be in Puerto Vallarta.
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    The blue reminds me of all the eye floaters I see. Cure for Eye Floaters

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    I really enjoy them all those pictures are awsoume exept when they are washed up on the beach i am ten as well how cool is tha. Invisible Fence

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    These marine mammals travel great distances to take advantage of the best breeding grounds and feeding spots thanks. Conosco

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    Vallarta, Mexcio and we are awaiting the return of the Humpback whales for the 2008/2009 breeding and birthing season. If you’re going to be in Puerto Vallarta.
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    I can’t wait!!! And by the way, all of you arguing about where they came from, need to just chill out. Let people believe what they choose to believe. Remember, Cupcake Wine

  • Fabulous

    Their unique hunting skill, called bubblenet feeding, involves a group of humpbacks working together to capture schools of herring thanks. Fabulous

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    These marine mammals travel great distances to take advantage of the best breeding grounds and feeding spots thanks. Garden

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    But,…… black bears are harmless, fuzzy balls of fun according to the ‘Disney’ wildlife biologists. Just right for human interaction. I saw a program on the tube where they guy was the ‘friend’ of black bears and he said it proved they were harmless and should not be hunted. ‘Bears are people too.’
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    . I can’t wait!!! And by the way, all of you arguing about where they came from, need to just chill out. Let people believe what they choose to believe. Remember, its their life. Not yours My family Silver

  • Tom Faulkner

    I really enjoy them all those pictures are awsoume exept when they are washed up on the beach i am ten as well how cool is that 10 lol rofl soz.

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  • roth ira

    Now every morning we get up and sit out there and watch. We see a few every day and they’re still bringing tears to my eyes. What magnificient creatures!
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    I head their singing when I visited Hawaii last year. It was great but was really wondering why they did this. Now I know :-)

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    This is rather a message to reflect on the beautiful nature that we possess but often do not value.
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    Wow the humpback whales do inspire awe!

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    Humpback whales are rorquals, a family that includes the blue whale, the fin whale, the Bryde’s whale, the sei whale and the minke whale. The rorquals are believed to have diverged from the other families of the suborder Mysticeti as long ago as the middle Miocene.However, it is not known when the members of these families diverged from each other.
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    Their unique hunting skill, called bubblenet feeding, involves a group of humpbacks working together to capture schools of herring thanks., Jump Starter

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    Whales are known to teach, learn, cooperate, scheme, and even grieve
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  • darian

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    I am going to the Sea of Cortez to go out and witness the calving stage and would like to view this wonderful show again. It does not seem to be available on these sites. Can you direct me????
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    Woah! I’m little bid scared by the faces of the sharks but I guess they are all good because they used to live life by transfering from one place to the other. How amazing is that? It’s so cute of them singing. :) Thanks for sharing this post! Fighting :)

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  • Simone

    They are so huge! They seem to be so talented mamals.. and I appreciate their existence :) Thanks for sharing this to us.. :) diversity in the workplace

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  • Amira Woltz

    So excited for you both! Thank the Lord for all his blessings! Mom is going to be there for you guys. Love ya

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    We were just trying to decide what it was when out came the fluke of one of these creatures. It brought tears to my eyes. Now every morning we get up and sit out there and watch. We see a few every day and they’re still bringing tears to my eyes. What magnificient creatures!
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    Agree that it might not read the way the writer intended! Thanks for voicing your concern.

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