Humpback whales in the Dominican Republic

Seeing Whales perform in their natural environment is the most exciting and breathtaking event anywhere. They come here in January for a honeymoon and go back to the ocean waters in March. Quite a long vacation, isn' it?

What a wonderful country the DR is, - the hundreds of Atlantic humpback whales come to the Samana peninsula to give birth to a new generation! To become an eyewitness to this thrilling natural event, millions of tourist from all over the world come to this virgin Caribbean island. Especially for this entertainment a lot of travel agencies in Punta Cana and other Dominican resorts organize tours and private excursions to the Samana peninsula as the season lasts just from the middle of January to the end of March. So if you want to see the bridal games of these enormous marine creatures come to the DR in February and get an unforgettable experience with Dos Bananas Punta Cana excursions.

 

Humpback whales in the Dominican Republic

 

Interesting facts about Humbpack whales

Humpback whales are known for their magical songs, which travel for great distances through the world's oceans. These sequences of moans, howls, cries, and other noises are quite complex and often continue for hours on end. Scientists are studying these sounds to decipher their meaning. It is most likely that humpbacks sing to communicate with others and to attract potential mates.

Found in oceans and seas around the world, humpback whales typically migrate up to 25,000 kilometres each year. Humpbacks feed only in summer, in polar waters, and migrate to tropical or subtropical waters to breed and give birth in the winter. During the winter, humpbacks fast and live off their fat reserves. The most known peculiarity that distinguishes humpback whales is a back fin that resembles a hump. The first data about these whales appeared in 1756 when a French zoologist and natural philosopher Mathurin Jacques Brisson identified them as «baleine de la Nouvelle Angleterre». The first humpback whale was seen close to the coastline of New England.

 

Humback whales in the Dominican Republic

 

Humpback whales are enormous; they grow to be about 52 feet (16 m) long, weighing 30-50 tons (27-45 tones). The females are slightly larger than males, as with all baleen whales. The four-chambered heart of the average humpback whale weighs about 430 pounds (195 kg) - about as much as three average adult human beings. Humpbacks come in 4 different color schemes, ranging from white to gray to black to mottled. There are distinctive patches of white on underside of the flukes (tail). These markings are unique to each individual whale, like a fingerprint. The humpback's skin is frequently scarred and may have patches covered with barnacles. Humpbacks have huge, mottled white flippers with rough edges that are up to one-third of its body length; these are the largest flippers of any whale. The humpback's genus, Megaptera, means "huge-wings," referring to its flippers. The flippers may have barnacles growing on them.

Humpback whales in the Dominican Republic

Humpback whale breeding occurs mostly in the winter to early spring while near the surface and in warm, tropical waters. The gestation period is about 11-12 months and the calf is born tail first (this is normal for cetaceans) and near the surface in warm, shallow waters. The newborn instinctively swims to the surface within 10 seconds for its first breath; it is helped by its mother, using her flippers. Within 30 minutes of its birth the baby whale can swim. The newborn calf is about 14 feet long (4.3 m) and weighs about 2.5 tons (2.3 tonnes). Twins are extremely rare (about 1% of births); there is almost always one calf. The baby is nurtured with its mother's milk and is weaned in about 11 months. The mother and calf may stay together for a year or longer. Calves drink 100 pounds of milk each day. Humpback whales reach puberty at 4-7 years old, and maturity at 15 years. A calf is born to a female every 1-3 years.

Humpback whales in the Dominican Republic

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