Marine Mammals Information Database :Illustrated Guide of Marine Mammals

Humpback whale

Scientific Name : Megaptera novaeangliae / Japanese Name : zatou-kujira


Order Cetacea
Suborder Mysticeti
Family Balaenopteridae
Genus Megaptera
Species novaeangliae
Subspecies -
Subtype -
CITES Appendix I IUCN RedData Status Least Concern
Baleen plates or tooth-Upper jaw 270-400 Baleen plates or tooth-Lower jaw -
At birth At weaning Adult Adult male Adult female
Body length 13.5-15ft 25-28ft 42.5-49.0ft - -
Body weight - - 30-40t - -
Feature and Habit
They have bumps over the jaw and the head. Some individuals are attached by many barnacles on their body.They have a fleshy tubercle near the tip of the lower jaw. The dorsal fin locates above the hump set two-third of the body length from the tip of rostrum. The flippers are very long (as long as one-third of the body length). The flukes are big and their trailing edges are notched. Body color is dark-gray or black and the throat region is white. The throat pleats are 14 to 24, broad, and reach to the umbilicus. The baleen plates are short (less than 0.7m) and black. The fringe bristles are dark brown and 270 to 400 baleen plates per side. They are usual inhabit in coastal waters.They make extensive migration for long distance. They are single or in pods of 2 to 10 whales.
Stranding Record(s) in Japan

Marine Mammals Skull Database

A click on the skull thumb nail will bring you to detailed images.

Sex - Reproductive Condition -
Body length - Locality -
Museum No. - Other No. -

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