Humpback whales belong to a group of marine mammals known as Cetaceans. Cetaceans include whales, dolphins, and porpoise. There are two types of Cetaceans. Those with teeth are called Odontocetes like killer whales and dolphins and those without teeth are called Mysticetes or baleen whales including the great whales such as right, bowhead, blue, fin, humpback, and gray.
Baleen whales travel in pods (groups of 2 or more whales). Baleen whales filter their food through baleen plates that hang down from the roof of their mouths like a comb and are fringed on the inside to capture their food (primarily krill, capelin, and herring).
The Humpback whales, Giants of the Sea, begin an exodus to the north in search of the right place to reproduce and give birth to their offspring. It's gladly in the Ecuadorian coastal region -specifically in the provinces of Guayas, Santa Elena, Manabi, Esmeraldas and El Oro- where nearly 4000 humpback whales find the perfect landscape to live the greatest love story ever, thus ensuring the species' survival. Thanks to these visitors, the beaches of Ecuador receive thousands of tourists from all over the world looking to watch from close up the world's largest animals. The Humpback whale is the most active of all the baleen whales, so it is often seen breaching, spy hopping, slapping its pectoral fin, lobbying its tail and jumping out of the water. To watch the show, there are lots of vessels available, constantly taking people to see them perform their marvelous sea dances. More information on humpback whale watching tours.
These giant mammals are the heaviest and strongest of all whales. The size of an adult female is about 19m (62ft), while the males measure up to 15m (49ft). Considering their size and their average weight of about 30-40 tons, the Humpback whales have certainly a place among the world's largest animals. Nonetheless, it remains an endangered species because of their condition of slow swimmers -compared to other whales- made them an easy target for the 18th-Century whalers.
Humpback whales got their particular name out of the exaggerated hump that forms around their dorsal fin when they arch to dive back into the water. They are gregarious animals that live in groups of eight or ten individuals when living in cold climates. However, during the reproductive season, they migrate all together to the warmer waters of the Pacific Ocean, staying there from June to September.
Humpback whale watching season begins next June in Ecuador, and no one should miss it. Enjoy the show and feel moved by this wonderful experience watching one of the biggest and most magnificent animals of the planet emerge from the depths as if they were weightless.