Humpback Whales

 

Humpback whales are frequently sighted in Montezuma, a serene sultry town in Costa Rica and other nearby regions. Humpback whale, also known as Megaptera novaeangliae, is a kind of baleen whale. Acknowledged as one of the largest cetaceans and rorquals, it reaches a height of 12 to 16 meters.
It weighs an approximate of 36,000 kilograms. The humpback whales have a stocky, sturdy body with a distinctive hump. The dorsal surface is black in color. Another characteristic features are their tubercle like hair follicles that form knobs on head and lower jaw. Their tails are fluked with a corrugated border and are seen during the dives. The pectoral fins are the longest of all cetaceans, and have a unique design which acts as a distinguishable trait. The long fins help them to be maneuvered easily and are useful in controlling the temperature in increased surface area during migration between cold and warm climes. Humpback whales have a complex system of arteries and vein, a rete mirabile (or a wonderful net), which works as a heat exchanging system. The whales have a filter feeding system of 270 to 400 dark colored baleen plates on both sides of their mouths. They are made of keratin and are 46 centimeters long. There are 14 to 22 ventral grooves on the lower jaw and umbilicus that runs midway to the underside of the body. Compared to other rorquals, they grooves are less in number but wider. The heart-shaped blow-holes are used for exhaling water. Humpback whales breathe on their own will and close off only half of their brain when they sleep. The water blows can be as high as 6.1 meters! Female humpbacks fully mature at the age of five while the males mature at the age of seven. The lifespan ranges from 45 to 100 years. Mature male humpbacks are 43 to 46 feet while females are 5 to 6 feet larger. They weigh in the range 23 to 33 short tons. The courtship among the whales occurs in the months of winter. Females breed every 2 to 3 years. After a gestation period of 11 to 12 months, birth of calves takes place, usually in January, February, July and August. The calves are really smaller as compared to their mothers, with an average height of 6.1 meter. The whales nurse their kids for a year. The diet of humpback whales consists of small crustaceans, krill and tiny fish. Humpbacks live in small group that may break up in hours. Whale surfacing is quite common among the humpbacks. Their acrobatic moves are one of the reasons they are quite popular on whale watching tours. They are well known jumpers; their moves include breaching, lob-tailing, slapping and peduncle throw Humpbacks vocalize through songs. They can continuously sing for 24 hours. They sing during courtship, challenges, and also for echolocation. Humpback whales are found in four populations; in North Pacific, Atlantic Ocean, Southern Ocean and Indian Ocean.

Humpback Whales in Montezuma

Whale watching has become a popular recreational activity all over the globe. In Costa Rica, the pacific coast is rich with different species of whales. Montezuma , a tropical sea town, located on the southernmost tip of Nicoya Peninsula, is an enticing holiday spot. There is a sweeping range of beaches, tumbling waterfalls, luscious jungles and an interesting wildlife. There are hundreds of underwater creatures such as sharks, oceanic dolphins, baleen whales, rays and smaller animals like crustaceans, eels, seahorses and a lot more. Pacific Ocean bordering Montezuma and other nearby regions are flourishing with humpback whales. Snorkel and scuba dive in Montezuma’s popular dive points; Playa las Manchas and Playa las Rocas and meet splendid species busy in their own methods. Humpbacks whales can also be seen breaching and lunging on the waters of Tortuga Island, a small pristine isle a short boat trip away from Montezuma. It has plenty of snorkel spots. Drive to Cabuya Island to experience exclusive dives and meet humpback Whales. Tambor Bay is also an ideal spot for whale watching including humpback whales.

[youtube= http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CoNrgP-gZoM-A]

References:http://zumatours.net/Scuba_Diving.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humpback_whale

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