Humpback whales can weigh as much as 48 tons and grow to approximately 40 to 50 feet in length. They are distinguished by the humps on their backs and their large flippers, which are approximately one-third of their overall body size.
Humpbacks travel in pods that consist of as many as 20,000 whales. The humpback's tail is called a fluke and can reach 18 feet in width.
Male humpback whales initiate mating by emitting complex vocalizations that are referred to as "mating songs." They have white markings on their bellies and range from gray to black in color. Humpbacks feed on fish and krill, which are ocean crustaceans that resemble tiny shrimp. Humpbacks are known for their strong and agile bodies and are often seen jumping high above ocean waters. Breeding season for humpbacks typically begins in the winter and lasts through early spring.
Female humpbacks give birth every two to three years following a 12-month gestation period. A baby humpback drinks up to 100 pounds of its mother's milk each day for approximately seven months until it is capable of consuming solid foods.
According to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, scientists believe that humpbacks shut off only half of their brains when sleeping. This is due the fact that humpbacks have a voluntary breathing response, meaning they must remember to breathe.