Adaptations for Survival
Above: This humpback is performing what is called a "breech."
In the environment:
- In diving deep, humpbacks have, like all the baleen whale, have a high concentrations of the myoglobin protein and red blood cells. The purpose for such high concentrations is to provide a good amount of oxygen during dives.
- Humpbacks have a blubber layer that insulates them when swimming in colder waters. This layer can be used as an energy reserve for long migration trips.
- During feeding, a humpback whale will perform what is called "bubble-net feeding." This type of feeding is successful as the bubbles produced below the fish corners the fish near the surface of the water. Then, the whale swims up and eats.
- Humpback whales filter feed plankton as they swim allowing them to always have some source of food.
- Humpback whales have large tail flukes that move up and down vertically to help move them through the water.
- The humpbacks are not very fast swimmers traveling up to 9 mph.
- To avoid predators, humpback whales can swim many feet down to where the predators cannot go. These whales can swim far down because their heart beats at a slower rate.