Baleine à bosse

Humpback whales travel thousands of miles to mate

A recent study of humpback whales showed that they could travel up to 5,955 kilometers to reach mating areas.

By analyzing more than 450,000 photos of humpback whales taken during their migration, scientists have found that some of them swim thousands of miles during mating season. Two separate male individuals were spotted at two popular mating sites in less than two months. The first site is off the west coast of Mexico while the second is near Hawaii. The two males were easily recognizable by the distinctive markings on their caudal fin.

According to information, the distance between these two mating areas is about 5,955 kilometers. Tracking results showed that the two individuals swam faster than their usual cruising speed of 5 kilometers per hour to reach their destination.

The migration of humpback whales

Being a migratory species, humpback whales cross the oceans to reach their feeding and breeding grounds. James Darling of the Whale Trust Maui and author of the study even told New Scientist magazine that whales roam the ocean as if it were their own backyard.

During the summer, North Pacific humpback whales frequent the waters around Canada and Alaska in search of food. In winter, they migrate to breeding grounds near Mexico and Hawaii. Previously, scientists thought that whales chose a mating spot and stayed there. But this new study shows that is not the case.

The distance traveled by humpback whales

According to the results obtained, the first male traveled 4,545 km from Maui, Hawaii to the Revillagigedo Archipelago, Mexico, over a period of 2 months, between February 23 and April 17, 2006.

As for the second male, he traveled from Guerrero in Mexico to Maui in Hawaii between February 16 and April 5, 2018, covering 5,944 km. Scientists noticed that this second male was part of a group of seven males that chased a single female at the Hawaii site.

SOURCE: sciencealert

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