Humpback Whale Breathing

T>he blowhole of the humpback whale like all baleen whales have two openings unlike the toothed whales which have only one. This is best shown in the photograph below.

humpback showing blowhole

The first sign of whales in an area is usually the 'blow'. Air leaves the blowhole at more than 400 kilometres an hour. When tie whales surface, the exhalation of warm air produces a distinctive cloud, formed by condensation of vapour excelled from the lungs under great pressure. Adult humpbacks have two lungs, each the size of a small car, which they can empty and refill in less than two seconds.

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whale blow

Whale breath is quite fishy to smell, and if a blow happens to drift on to an unsuspecting photographer they will find their equipment will have a light smear of oil on it.

INTROhumpback INTROhumpback whale - feeding

All photographs shown on this page are copyright
© 1997 Seaspray Charters - used with permission.