Whale Watching EcoTours
Puerto Rico's west and northwest coasts are host to Humpback Whale visits
starting in early December
through early March.
|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
grey. 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 &
Physical features- 45 -50 ft long, and 45 - 50 tons
when full grown Babies or calves are about 15 ft at birth and weigh
Humpback whales are distinguished from the other great
whales by their extremely long pectoral fins. hence their latin name Megaptera novaeangliae
"big winged, New Englang" (where from Humpbacks migrate to PR)
Individual whales are identified by unique patterns on the
underside of their flukes or tails, like a thumb print. This is how
animals were tracked to determine their primary migration routes.
Scientists continue to use fluke patterns to study behavior. Color
on the underside of tails varies from all black to all white.
Humpbacks live to be between 40 and 60 yrs old. Inexact science
determined by waxy ear plugs with lines representing seasons or
years, like a cross section of tree trunk. Baleen plates in the
mouth also show similar lineage. Whales reach sexual maturity at 6 -
8 yrs and physical maturity at 10- 12 yrs. Calving is every 2 -4
and dolphins date back 25 - 30 million years. Humpbacks evolved from
an ancient hoofed terrestrial herbivore. They are actually related
to camels and
Humpbacks occur in all oceans of the world. The world population
before the whaling days is thought to have been @ 200,000. This
estimate is based on whaling ship logs during the early whaling days
(early 1800s). The main reason whales were hunted was for oil to
light lamps throughout Europe. Today there are less than 10,000
humpbacks world wide. That is a 95% reduction in their population in
less than 200 yrs. After 35 million years of existence in the
oceans, humpbacks are on the brink of extinction.
Humpbacks have been protected by law since 1966 under the Marine
Mammal Protection Act. There is a global moratorium on whale hunting
agreed to by the International Whaling Commission. Despite this
Norway, Japan and Iceland still hunt whales commercially. The #1
threat to all whales now is deterioration and loss of habitat due to
marine pollution. 3 billion pounds of garbage are dumped every year
into our oceans. Toxic chemicals, especially those that mimic
hormones, PCBs (plychlorobyphenols), and dioxin (produced in
pesticides, wood preservation, burning organic waste), are prevalent
in the ocean ecosystems and cause a wide range of problems.
Developmental problems such as deformations, reproductive problems
that render animals infertile and cancer are common problems in
marine animals throughout the world.
Enjoy Whale Watching in
Western Puerto Rico!..
Your accommodations can be provided by Property
Owners and Services Providers
who are members of ...
For more information, send email message with details
Here to return to our Home page.
Copyright © 2009 by PRwest and lemonTree Waterfront Suites,
Puerto Rico. All rights reserved