Animalia > Chordata > Mammalia > Cetacea > Balaenopteridae > Megaptera > Megaptera novaeangliae

Megaptera novaeangliae (Humpback Whale)

Synonyms: Balaena lalandii; Balaena longimana; Balaena nodosa; Balaena novaeangliae; Megaptera braziliensis; Megaptera indica; Megaptera lalandii; Megaptera longimana; Megaptera longipinna; Megaptera nodosa; Megaptera osphya; Megaptera versabilis
Language: French; Spanish

Wikipedia Abstract

The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is a species of baleen whale. One of the larger rorqual species, adults range in length from 12–16 m (39–52 ft) and weigh about 36,000 kg (79,000 lb). The humpback has a distinctive body shape, with long pectoral fins and a knobbly head. It is known for breaching and other distinctive surface behaviors, making it popular with whale watchers. Males produce a complex song lasting 10 to 20 minutes, which they repeat for hours at a time. Its purpose is not clear, though it may have a role in mating.
View Wikipedia Record: Megaptera novaeangliae

EDGE Analysis

Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 22.63
EDGE Score: 3.16


Adult Weight [2]  33.07 tons (30,000.00 kg)
Birth Weight [2]  1.49 tons (1,350.00 kg)
Female Maturity [2]  4 years 6 months
Male Maturity [2]  4 years 6 months
Diet [3]  Carnivore (Invertebrates), Piscivore
Diet - Fish [3]  20 %
Diet - Invertibrates [3]  80 %
Forages - Marine [3]  100 %
Gestation [2]  11 months 12 days
Litter Size [2]  1
Litters / Year [2]  1
Maximum Longevity [2]  95 years
Migration [1]  Interoceanic
Speed [4]  16.78 MPH (7.5 m/s)
Water Biome [1]  Benthic, Coastal
Weaning [2]  7 months 26 days

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Abrolhos Marine National Park 225607 Bahia, Brazil      
Archipelago de Colon Biosphere Reserve 34336011 Galapagos Islands, Ecuador  
California Coast Ranges Biosphere Reserve 153447 California, United States  
Cape Cod National Seashore II 21724 Massachusetts, United States
Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary   California, United States
Channel Islands National Park II 139010 California, United States
Everglades and Dry Tortugas Biosphere Reserve   Florida, United States  
Farallon National Wildlife Refuge IV 352 California, United States
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary IV 2387149 Florida, United States
Forillon National Park II 61010 Quebec, Canada  
Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve Ib 591068 Alaska, United States
Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve II 366714 British Columbia, Canada
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park 177278 Hawaii, United States
Hawaiian Islands Biosphere Reserve 245981 Hawaii, United States  
Isla Mujeres, Punta Cancun y Punta Nizuc National Park II 21428 Quintana Roo, Mexico    
Kandalaksha State Nature Reserve 174283 Murmansk, Karelia, Russia
Komandorsk Biosphere Reserve 9016082 Kamchatka Krai , Russia    
Kronotskiy Biosphere Reserve 361480 Russia  
Kronotsky Biosphere Reserve 2822275 Kamchatka Krai , Russia
Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve II 20461 Quebec, Canada
Morecambe Bay 151985 England, United Kingdom
Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Reserve 293047 British Columbia, Canada  
Mull of Galloway 337 Scotland, United Kingdom
North Bull Island Nature Reserve IV 3544 Ireland  
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve II 137900 British Columbia, Canada
Palmer LTER Site Long Term Ecological Research   Antarctica    
Point Reyes National Seashore II 27068 California, United States
Redwood National Park II 77867 California, United States
Reserva de la Biosfera El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve VI 6176727 Mexico  
Reserve de la Biosphere de Charlevoix Biosphere Reserve 1383790 Canada  
Shoalwater and Corio Bays Area Ramsar Site   Queensland, Australia
Terra Nova National Park IV 125894 Newfoundland, Canada
Tsitsikamma National Park II 34343 Southern Cape, South Africa  
Virgin Islands Biosphere Reserve 15148 Virgin Islands, United States  
Wrangel Island State Nature Reserve 5499701 Chukotka, Russia    


Emblem of


Prey / Diet

Ammodytes dubius (offshore sand lance)[5]
Ammodytes hexapterus (Stout sand lance)[6]
Boreogadus saida (Polar cod)[5]
Calanus finmarchicus[5]
Calanus glacialis[5]
Calanus hyperboreus[5]
Clupea harengus (Yawling)[5]
Clupea pallasii (Pacific herring)[5]
Dissostichus eleginoides (Patagonsky klykach)[7]
Dissostichus mawsoni (Antarctic blenny)[7]
Eleginus gracilis (Wachna cod)[5]
Engraulis mordax (Californian anchoveta)[5]
Euphausia pacifica (Pacific krill)[6]
Euphausia superba (Antarctic krill)[7]
Gadus chalcogrammus (Whiting)[6]
Gadus morhua (rock cod)[5]
Glyptocephalus cynoglossus (Witch flounder)[5]
Hypomesus pretiosus (Surf smelt)[6]
Kondakovia longimana (Giant Warty Squid)[8]
Mallotus villosus (Capelin)[9]
Meganyctiphanes norvegica (Norwegian krill)[5]
Melanogrammus aeglefinus (Smokie)[5]
Micromesistius poutassou (Poutassou)[5]
Nematoscelis difficilis[10]
Ningaui yvonnae (Southern Ningaui)[5]
Nyctiphanes simplex[10]
Pleurogrammus monopterygius (Atka mackerel)[6]
Pollachius virens (Sillock)[5]
Reinhardtius hippoglossoides (Turbot)[5]
Salmo pallaryi (Salmon)[5]
Sardinops sagax (Australian pilchard)[10]
Scomber scombrus (Split)[5]
Sebastes mentella (Redfish)[5]
Thaleichthys pacificus (Candlefish)[5]
Themisto abyssorum[5]
Themisto libellula[5]
Thysanoessa gregaria[6]
Thysanoessa inermis[6]
Thysanoessa longicaudata[5]
Thysanoessa raschii (Arctic krill)[5]
Thysanoessa spinifera[6]

Prey / Diet Overlap

Competing SpeciesCommon Prey Count
Aptenodytes forsteri (Emperor Penguin)4
Arctocephalus gazella (Antarctic Fur Seal)2
Atheresthes stomias (Turbot)3
Balaenoptera acutorostrata (Minke Whale)6
Balaenoptera musculus (Blue Whale)3
Balaenoptera physalus (Fin Whale)3
Bathyraja interrupta (Sandpaper skate)3
Brachyramphus brevirostris (Kittlitz's Murrelet)2
Brachyramphus marmoratus (Marbled Murrelet)4
Callorhinus ursinus (Northern Fur Seal)2
Cepphus columba (Pigeon Guillemot)4
Cerorhinca monocerata (Rhinoceros Auklet)2
Diaphus theta (California headlightfish)2
Dissostichus eleginoides (Patagonsky klykach)2
Erignathus barbatus (Bearded Seal)2
Eumetopias jubatus (Steller Sea Lion)3
Fratercula arctica (Atlantic Puffin)2
Fratercula cirrhata (Tufted Puffin)3
Fratercula corniculata (Horned Puffin)2
Fulmarus glacialis (Northern Fulmar)3
Fulmarus glacialoides (Southern Fulmar)2
Gadus chalcogrammus (Whiting)3
Gadus macrocephalus (Pacific cod)3
Hexagrammos stelleri (Greenling)2
Hippoglossus stenolepis (Pacific halibut)3
Histriophoca fasciata (Ribbon Seal)2
Lamna ditropis (Salmon shark)2
Leptonychotes weddellii (Weddell Seal)2
Lobodon carcinophaga (Crabeater Seal)3
Macronectes giganteus (Southern Giant Petrel)2
Mirounga leonina (Southern Elephant Seal)2
Oncorhynchus clarkii (Cutthroat trout)2
Orcinus orca (Killer Whale)2
Pagodroma nivea (Snow Petrel)2
Phoebetria palpebrata (Light-mantled Albatross)2
Pleurogrammus monopterygius (Atka mackerel)2
Ptychoramphus aleuticus (Cassin's Auklet)2
Puffinus tenuirostris (Short-tailed Shearwater)3
Pygoscelis adeliae (Adelie Penguin)4
Pygoscelis papua (Gentoo Penguin)3
Rissa tridactyla (Black-legged Kittiwake)5
Sardinops sagax (Australian pilchard)2
Sebastes alutus (Snapper)2
Sebastes caurinus (Copper rockfish)2
Sebastes crameri (Rockfish)2
Sebastes diploproa (Splitnose rockfish)2
Sebastes flavidus (Yellowtail rockfish)3
Sebastes pinniger (Rockfish)2
Sebastes serranoides (Rockfish)2
Sterna paradisaea (Arctic Tern)2
Synthliboramphus antiquus (Ancient Murrelet)4
Thalassarche chrysostoma (Grey-headed Albatross)2
Thalassarche melanophris (Black-browed Albatross)3
Uria aalge (Common Murre)3
Uria lomvia (Thick-billed Murre)2


Homo sapiens (man)[5]
Orcinus orca (Killer Whale)[5]


Parasite of 
Trichinella spiralis (pork worm)[5]


Parasitized by 
Anisakis simplex[11]
Bolbosoma balaenae[11]
Bolbosoma nipponicum[11]
Bolbosoma turbinella[11]
Crassicauda boopis <Unverified Name>[11]
Crassicauda crassicauda <Unverified Name>[11]
Diphyllobothrium balaenopterae[11]
Odontobius ceti[11]
Pharurus alatus <Unverified Name>[11]
Phyllobothrium delphini[11]

Range Map

Antarctica/Southern Ocean; East Pacific; Eastern Atlantic Ocean; Indo-West Pacific; Western Atlantic Ocean;



Attributes / relations provided by
1Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at
2de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
3Hamish Wilman, Jonathan Belmaker, Jennifer Simpson, Carolina de la Rosa, Marcelo M. Rivadeneira, and Walter Jetz. 2014. EltonTraits 1.0: Species-level foraging attributes of the world's birds and mammals. Ecology 95:2027
4Wikipedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
5Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
6Food Web Relationships of Northern Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca : a Synthesis of the Available Knowledge, Charles A. Simenstad, Bruce S. Miller, Carl F. Nyblade, Kathleen Thornburgh, and Lewis J. Bledsoe, EPA-600 7-29-259 September 1979
7Who's Eating Who
8Towards the trophic structure of the Bouvet Island marine ecosystem, U. Jacob, T. Brey, I. Fetzer, S. Kaehler, K. Mintenbeck, K. Dunton, K. Beyer, U. Struck , E.A. Pakhomov and W.E. Arntz, Polar Biology, 29 (2). pp. 106-113 (2006)
9The role of capelin (Mallotus villosus) in the foodweb of the Barents Sea, A. V. Dolgov, ICES Journal of Marine Science, 59: 1034–1045. 2002
10Szoboszlai AI, Thayer JA, Wood SA, Sydeman WJ, Koehn LE (2015) Forage species in predator diets: synthesis of data from the California Current. Ecological Informatics 29(1): 45-56. Szoboszlai AI, Thayer JA, Wood SA, Sydeman WJ, Koehn LE (2015) Data from: Forage species in predator diets: synthesis of data from the California Current. Dryad Digital Repository.
11Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
Protected Areas provided by Ramsar Sites Information Service
Biological Inventories of the World's Protected Areas in cooperation between the Information Center for the Environment at the University of California, Davis and numerous collaborators.
Specially protected natural territories of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation
GBIF Global Biodiversity Information Facility
Images provided by Google Image Search
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Weather provided by NOAA METAR Data Access