Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Subclass: Eutheria
Order: Cetartiodactyla (whales and even-toed ungulates)
Family: Balaenopteridae

Genus/species: Megaptera novaeangliae

Humpback whale

 A group of Humpback whales will locate a large group of small fishes and then blow bubbles from their blowholes as they circle toward the surface. The ring of bubbles forms a “bubble-net” which the fishes and or krill perceive as solid.  The fishes are compressed and the multiple whales then rise in unison to the surface inside the “bubble net” with their mouths open and their pleats expanded for a maxium catch of herring, caplin or sandlance.

All together now coming up


Big gulp


The water is expelled through their comb-like baleen (made of keratin) while their tongue sweeps the fishes down their throat.




Waving good-bye with their flukes elevated and preparing a new bubble-net.


Note: Flippering:  When a Humpback raises one or both flippers out of the water and slaps them against the water (see above).

Kickfeeding: The Humpback raises and slams his rear flukes against the water surface to stun fishes and then dives and surfaces to engulf the stunned fishes.

REMARKS Individual Humpbacks may lunge into schools of fishes or krill under water.


WordPress link:

Ron’s flickr…

Oxford Journals Integrative & Comparative Biology

IUCN red list 2008

IUCN Red List (July, 2009)

Monterey bay aquarium…

National Geographic…


Shirihai, H & Jarrett (2006) Whales Dolphins and Other Marine Mammals of the World Princeton University Press.

Evans, P & Weinrich, M (2002) Whales Dolphins and Porpoises D K London New York Munich Melbourne and Delhi.

Reeves, R, R, et al (2002) Guide to Marine Mammals of the World   Chanticleer Press, Inc.

Buffington K, et al (1992) Whales Scholastic Professional Books