One of the biggest inhabitants on earth, yet not well understood by mankind. This majestic ocean creature swims around 25,000 km / 15,538 miles every year to the coasts of Panama. During this journey they face big dangers like fishermen, vessels, storms and even predators who dare to kill them.
They have adapted to to every change Earth has suffered since the Jurassic Era. That said, now we can start understanding how tough they can be and how the animal kingdom have survived this transitions.
These first whales, such as Pakicetus, were typical land animals. They had long skulls and large carnivorous teeth. From the outside, they don’t look much like whales at all. However, their skulls — particularly in the ear region, which is surrounded by a bony wall — strongly resemble those of living whales and are unlike those of any other mammal.
The first thing to notice on this evogram is that hippos are the closest living relatives of whales, but they are not the ancestors of whales. In fact, none of the individual animals on the evogram is the direct ancestor of any other, as far as we know. That’s why each of them gets its own branch on the family tree.
As whales began to swim by undulating the whole body, other changes in the skeleton allowed their limbs to be used more for steering than for paddling. Because the sequence of these whales’ tail vertebrae matches those of living dolphins and whales, it suggests that early whales, like Dorudon and Basilosaurus, did have tailfins. Such skeletal changes that accommodate an aquatic lifestyle are especially pronounced in basilosaurids, such as Dorudon. These ancient whales evolved over 40 million years ago.
Found in oceans and seas around the world. They feed in polar waters, and migrate to tropical or subtropical waters to breed and give birth, fastingand living off their fat reserves. Their diet consists mostly of krill and small fish. Humpbacks have a diverse repertoire of feeding methods, including the bubble net technique.
Like other large whales, the humpback was a target for the whaling industry. Once hunted to the brink of extinction, its population fell by an estimated 90% before a 1966 moratorium.
While stocks have partially recovered to some 80,000 animals worldwide, entanglement in fishing gear, collisions with ships and noise pollution continue to impact the species.
For this reason we do a conscious and responsible Whale Watching Tour, where you get to study this fascinating animal without forgetting the number one rule: RESPECT. This humpbacks are fasting during their stay in Panamanian waters, so its important to keep your distance and let them know by cruising slow and as little noise as you can, that you are here just to observe them and enjoy their company… not to bother them!
Keeping your distance also allows them to show off for you and your friends, while your certified tour guide gives you the most interesting lesson you have listened and learned yet.
Humpbacks are a friendly species that interact with other cetacean species such as bottlenose dolphins. Right whales interact with humpbacks. These behaviors have been recorded in all oceans. Records of humpback and southern right whales demonstrating what were interpreted to be mating behaviors have been documented off the Mozambique and Brazilian coasts.