Monthly Archives

December 2007

Photo of a Humpback Whale Tail Throw

Hawaii, Humpback Whale, Photo of the Day, Wildlife

Here we see a humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) peforming a tail throw, also known as a peduncle throw or tail lob. While at the surface, the whale pivots around its long pectoral fins, suddenly flicking its powerful fluke and peducle out of the water while dipping its rostrum. This behaviour typically occurs among groups of surface active humpback whales in which males are socializing and (presumably) competing for access to a female in their midst. Often the female whale is the one performing tail throws, but it is seen in primary and challenging escorts as well.

Humpback whale performing a peduncle throw at the surface, swinging its fluke (tail) sideways and flinging water all over, Megaptera novaeangliae, Maui

Humpback whale performing a peduncle throw at the surface, swinging its fluke (tail) sideways and flinging water all over.
Image ID: 00182
Species: Humpback whale, Megaptera novaeangliae
Location: Maui, Hawaii, USA

This photograph was taken during Hawaii Whale Research Foundation research activities conducted under provisions of NOAA / NMFS and State of Hawaii scientific research permits.

Photos of Yellowstone Elk

Elk, National Parks, Wildlife, Wyoming, Yellowstone

Ok, here is the last photo of the bull elk (Cervus candensis) that I photographed just outside Mammoth Hot Springs.

Bull elk in sage brush with large rack of antlers during the fall rut (mating season).  This bull elk has sparred with other bulls to establish his harem of females with which he hopes to mate, Cervus canadensis, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Bull elk in sage brush with large rack of antlers during the fall rut (mating season). This bull elk has sparred with other bulls to establish his harem of females with which he hopes to mate.
Image ID: 19745
Species: Elk, Cervus canadensis
Location: Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA