Females have a lobe
about six inches in diameter in their genital region that is not
present in males. This allows males and females to be distinguished
if the underside of the whale can be seen, even though the male's
penis almost always remains unseen in the genital slit. Females
typically breed every two or three years. The gestation period
is eleven months, yet some individuals can breed in two consecutive
years. Humpback Whales can live for 40–50 years.
spend much of their time submergedThe Humpback social structure
is loose-knit. Usually, individuals live alone or in transient
small groups that come together and break up over the course of
a few hours. Groups may stay together a little longer in summer
in order to forage and feed co-operatively. More long-term relationships
between pairs and small groups, lasting months or even years,
have been observed, but are rare. The range of the Humpback overlaps
considerably with many other whale and dolphin species —
but whilst it may be seen in the vicinity of other species (for
instance, the Minke Whale), it rarely interacts socially with
Images 1 Though 6 Are Courtesy of the U.S.D.A.
Images 7 Through 18 Are From The N.O.A.A.