This Humpback’s head is adorned with many golfball-sized knobs known as tubercles. Though other baleen whales possess tubercles, they are more numerous and prominent on Humpies. The knobs are distributed on the upper and lower jaws in patterns and numbers that are unique to each whale. Each tubercle contains a blood-nourished hair follicle connected to well-developed nerve endings.
Ma’alaea Bay, Maui – 17 January 2015
Megaptera novaeangliaemegapteraHumpback whalesHumpback whalebaleen whalesrorqualcetaceanswhaleswhaleHawaii's whalesMaui's whalesnorth Pacific populationBalaenopteridae