Once mating has occurred, the gestation period for female whales is 11.5 months. Once born, the calves are between 3 and 4.5 m long and weigh up to a ton.
Humpback whales are well known for their haunting, evocative calls or ‘songs’. These complex sequences of moans, howls, and cries can last for hours and travel vast distances through the ocean.
The exact function of humpback song’s is not known, but there are many theories.
As it is the male that produces the long complex songs (females have shorter vocalisations), and these are produced during the breeding season, it is speculated that they may function to attract females. It could also act as a challenge to other males. Yet another theory is that it has an ecolocative function, acting as a sonar, so that the whales can ‘see’ and navigate around their environment.
Humpbacks also use grunts, groans, and snorts to communicate with one another, and calfs are known to ‘whisper’ to their mothers, using low tones that can only be heard from short distance away. This may help them to avoid predators and big males.
SIZE: - H35cm L60cm