HumpbackWhaleHumpback whales, perhaps one of the most enamored species of whales in the world, are spectacular to watch as they often breach, tail slap, or spy hop (head sticking above the water’s surface).

Humpback whales have been widely studied by scientists, who have learned to identify individuals by photographing the whales’ flukes, or tails, as they dive. Distinctive markings on the flukes are the basis for identification studies and have helped us learn about their migratory patterns and lifecycles.

Humpback whales often hunt fish by blowing bubbles at the surface, forming a “bubble net” that traps krill. They then swim through the trapped masses of krill with their mouths wide open.

Humpback whales are an endangered species, with possibly fewer than 2,000 left in the North Pacific. Male humpbacks are well known for their elaborate and evocative songs.