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Humpback Whales Tail Slapping
Megaptera novaeangliae
Humpback Whale Tail Slapping
Tail slapping is something that is seen a lot. I have observed individual whales tail slapping and I have watched two whales upside down in the water facing each other tail slapping at the same time.

It does not appear to be an aggressive expression. When two whales are tail slapping at the same time it seems that they are trying to out perform one another.

Tail slapping can be heard underwater by other whales many miles away so it may also be a method of letting other whales know they are in the area in the case of single whales tail slapping.

Tail slapping would also be helpful in removing a build up of barnacles from the tail. The force of the tail hitting the water over time would certainly assist in removing parasites and barnacles.

All whales have sea lice, a very small creature that attaches itself to the whale. Tail slapping would certainly help to dislodge those creatures.

Some whales I have observed have somewhat orange patches on the white parts of their body which I later found to be concentrations of sea lice.

A sick Humpback whale will be virtually covered in sea lice which would make for a very miserable demise indeed.

Gary Crockett
Copyright 2011
Email: croc12000@yahoo.com
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