Whale’s Tail

Two humpback whales show off at the surface as the annual humpback whale migration season draws near an end in Maui.

The activities caught here are a fluke dive and a spout. Fluke diving is when a whale begins a deeper, longer dive and is indicated by the whale’s fluke rising out of the water to nearly vertical. Humpback whales are roughly the size of a school bus, all moved along by their fluke. Each fluke also acts as a sort of fingerprint, being unique to each whale and enabling us to identify individuals over time.

Spouting is what is most often seen by whale-watchers, and is simply the whale blowing out water and air to take a breath. It has been estimated that each breath a humpback takes has enough air in it to fill a VW Beetle.

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