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Costa Rica Wildlife – 9 Fun Facts About the Humpback Whale

Humpback whales are one of my ultimate favorites. There is just something about this gentle giant that makes you want to know more and more. Humpbacks can be found in all the oceans of the world, however they choose to come to the tropical waters, off of the south pacific region of Costa Rica and Corcovado National Park, during winter for breeding and birthing baby whales. Here are 9 fun facts about them:

 

1. The Humpback has a round, wide body narrowing at the tail.

2. Full of white lumps, these strange objects are full of living beings: Parasites, whale lice and crustaceans.

3. They are gray to black color and have light skin on the belly.

4. The can reach lengths of 15 meters and weigh over 25 tons

5. They can burst out of the water with in spectacular energy and speed, but are slow swimmers – 12 kms per hour

6. They can’t dive for longer than 15 minutes and need to surface for air frequently

7. In 1964 a protection law came to help save this creature from complete extinction due to whaling. Their numbers have recuperated, yet they are still whaled legally off the coasts of Greenland and Lesser Antilles!

8. Their main food is: krill, plankton, and fish (cod, capelin, or herring)

9. Capturing its prey has become an art form as it circles beneath the shoal, making a ring of bubbles around the prey, causing them to rise slowly towards the surface. Once the prey is surrounded in a net of bubbles, the whale opens its large mouth and swallows them.

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