Photo: Humpback feeding time

Posted: Tuesday, June 18, 2002

A humpback whale lunge-feeds in front of kayakers Monday evening near the North Douglas boat ramp. Humpbacks, which are baleen whales, feed on krill, small shrimp-like crustaceans, and various small fish. Each humpback has 240 to 400 fringed overlapping plates - or baleen - hanging from each side of the upper jaw. These plates, which fray out into fine hairs near the tongue, strain out fish as the whale expels water taken in through the mouth. Each humpback eats up to 11/2 tons of food a day.

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