What are the bumps on whales?
The bumps on the rostrum, or head, and the pectoral fins of a humpback whale are, in fact, hair follicles. Called “tubercles,” these fist-sized bumps contain one hair follicle each, connected to a set of sensitive nerves.
Why do barnacles attach to whales?
This type of symbiotic relationship is known as commensalism. In this case, attaching to the whales gives the barnacles a stable place to live, a free ride, and access to plenty of food.
What does it mean when a whales fin is curled?
Ultimately, what’s going on is the collagen in the dorsal fin is breaking down. One reason this may happen is from temperature. Warmer temperatures can disrupt collagen’s structure and rigidity. Which may explain why more captive whales have curved fins.
What is the white stuff on whales?
Those patchy white spots you see on gray whales are barnacles. Grays carry heavy loads of these freeloaders. The barnacles are just along for the ride. They don’t harm the whales or feed on the whales, like true parasites do.
Why do Orcas not get barnacles?
Turns out, it’s thought that some species, such as humpback and gray whales, actually encourage barnacles to grow on them for defence. Idea is a thick layer of barnacles can act as a deterrent against would-be-predators such as, well, orcas; preventing ’em from getting a good bite in.
Why do Humpback whales have a hump?
Humpback whales are enormous creatures — about the size of a school bus. Humpbacks don’t normally have a hump on their backs; the name comes from the large hump that forms when they arch their backs before making a deep dive into the ocean.
Do whales breach to get rid of barnacles?
Barnacles depigment the skin when they attach themselves to the whale. To get rid of the whale lice, whales rub themselves along the sea bottom or breach. Gray whales feed on bottom sediments and scrape off barnacles and whale lice as they feed.
Do whales get parasites?
A parasite is an animal that benefits from an interaction with another species, called its host, at the expense of the host. Parasites like tapeworms infect the digestive tracts of their hosts, absorbing valuable nutrients from the host’s meal. Just like people, whales can have tapeworms.
Can a humpback whale swallow a human?
Though a humpback could easily fit a human inside its huge mouth—which can reach around 10 feet—it’s scientifically impossible for the whale to swallow a human once inside, according to Nicola Hodgins of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation, a U.K. nonprofit. …