Trivia question for Nov-20-2011

Posted on Nov 20, 2011 in Trivia

Carter fell in love with these guys while watching Pete Bethune (from Earthrace Conservation Organization) as he was on the TV show Whale Wars.  He heard Pete speak and saw his passion for wanting to save whales and got hooked himself.

These whales spend their summers in polar seas to feed and migrate to warm, equatorial waters in winter to breed.  They feed on krill and small fish, filtering them using sievelike plates of baleen in the mouth.

Like other large whales, these whales were and still are target for the whaling industry. Due to over-hunting, its population fell by an estimated 90% before a whaling moratorium was introduced in 1966. Stocks have since partially recovered; however, entanglement in fishing gear, collisions with ships, and noise pollution also remain concerns. There are at least 80,000 of these whales worldwide. Once hunted to the brink of extinction, these guys are now sought by whale-watchers, particularly off parts of Australia, New Zealand, South America, Canada, and the United States.

So here are Carter’s questions:  Tell us what kind of whale this is and tell us what is so special about the songs males make during breeding season?  Also, tell us how large/long their ears are and how they hunt for schools of fish such as sardines?

Good Luck 😉


Congratulations goes out to Hannah Almeida for being the first to identify these amazing whales and to Tami Kannenberg for correctly answering how they catch/gather large amounts of school fish.  The whale we featured is the Humpback Whale.  The humpback whale is a species of baleen whale. One of the larger rorqual species, adults range in length from 39–52 ft and weigh approximately 79,000 lb. The humpback has a distinctive body shape, with unusually long pectoral fins and a knobby head. It is an acrobatic animal, often breaching and slapping the water. Males produce a complex song, which lasts for 10 to 20 minutes and is repeated for hours at a time. The purpose of the song is not yet clear, although it appears to have a role in mating.

The songs they males make during breeding season are special in many ways.  One is that sounds are among the most complexed sounds of any animal.  They are also special because they can travel across thousands of miles and they change from year to year.

Their ears are no more than a 0.4-inch slit, yet they have excellent hearing.  When hunting schools of fish as a team, they dive down about 65-feet below the surface to position themselves under a shoal od anchovies or sardines.  Then, swimming in an upward spiral, the two whales blow a continues stream of bubbles that rise up in a column, surrounding the fish above who are too scared to swim through the barrier of sparkling bubbles.  Here is more on these magnificent beasts: Humpback Whale

Thanks for playing along 😉