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What are some facts about humpback whales?

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Quick Answer

Humpback whales are characterized largely by their music, which are noises that range from moans and cries to howls. These songs, which can last up to 20 minutes, are a source of fascination for scientists, who believe that these songs attract mates.

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Full Answer

Humpback whales live in most of the world's oceans. Most humpback whales follow a migratory route; however, one group of humpbacks lives in the Arabian Sea year-round. These mammals feed largely on krill and plankton at feeding grounds near the North and South Poles. They migrate to warmer waters around the equator during the winter when they breed.

It takes 12 months for females to gestate their young, and they only give birth every two or three years at calving grounds close to the shore. The calves nurse for the first year of their lives. Although humpbacks are only 10 to 15 feet long at birth, they grow to between 40 and 60 feet as adults and weigh up to 40 tons. Humpback whales eat at least 1 ton of food each day to sustain their size.

Humpback whales travel in groups called pods. Members in a pod caress each other with their fins as a sign of affection.

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