Whale watching safaris from the lodge this summer saw allot of activity from the humpback whales. Most days there were more than a dozen whales in the area of Bold Head on Blackfish Sound which is adjacent to Johnstone Strait and Vancouver Island on BC’s coast. There were two families of mother and calf in the area and the calves were very active. In this photo the calf was quite close and spent time throwing it’s back half of its body sideways out of the water. It would come up with it’s upper body part way out of the water and then throw it’s back half up and to the side. This was a repeat performance going on for the better part of five minutes with a rest and then trying again. From my searching scientists aren’t sure if this breaching behaviour serves some purpose, such as cleaning pests from the whale’s skin, or whether whales simply do it for fun.
Porpoising 1 of 2
Two definitions for the same activity take your pick I know the one I like. In this case a pacific whitsided dolphin is porpoising.
From Oxford Journals “Porpoising is the popular name for the high-speed surface piercing motion of dolphins and other species, in which long, ballistic jumps are alternated with sections of swimming close to the surface. The first analysis of this behavior (Au and Weihs, 1980) showed that above a certain “crossover” speed this behavior is energetically advantageous, as the reduction in drag due to movement in the air becomes greater than the added cost of leaping.”
Or Porpoising Definition – Birding and Wild Birds – About.com (verb) The act of leaping in and out of the water in a short, shallow arc while swimming.
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