Whale Anatomy

Humpback whales are distant cousins of the hippopotamus with their family tree going back 60 million years.

The humpback received its name from its magnificent habit of arching its back above the water before it diving back into the crystal blue waters of the Gold Coast.

Whales in Paradise usually sight humpback whales that are 12 to 15 meters in length with the females being an average 1 to 1.5 meters longer than the males.

When whale watching along the coastline of Brisbane to the Gold Coast it is easy to spot the humpbacks because of their long pectoral fins. They have the longest pectoral fins of any whale or dolphin, which can grow up to one-third of their body length.

Their size is mesmerizing on board Whales in Paradise, as adult whales can weigh 40 to 45 tons with females on average larger than males.

A humpback's bones compromise a mere 15 percent of its total body weight, compared with 50 percent in humans.

On board the Whales in Paradise - Brisbane Whale Watching vessel Mahi Mahi whale watchers will see two types of whales, those with teeth and those with baleen. In Gold Coast waters it is more common to see whales with baleen (long, rigid strips of fingernail-like material) belonging to Humpback and Southern Right whale species while the most common toothed whales seen of the Gold Coast are Minki Whales and Killer Whales otherwise know as Orcas.

A whale watching experience is never complete without the classic blow of water that shoots out of the top of a whale's head. The reason behind this magnificent show is because whales do not breathe through their mouths but through these blowholes.

Whale belonging to the Baleen species (Mysticetes) have two blow holes where as the toothed whales (Ordontoetes) have only one blow hole.

From the Whales in Paradise Gold Coast Whale Watching vessel, whale watchers are able to see the characteristic 15 to 25 grooves or ventral pleating along the whales' throats, which allows them to stretch their mouth while feeding.

Even though the whales along the Gold Coast and Brisbane coastline seem cheeky because of their large tongue (that weighs more than a ton!) they cannot poke it out of their mouth due to poor muscle structure.

Humpbacks have a 35-centimeter earplug to prevent water getting into their ears! So unfortunately they wont be able to hear the excited awe of whale watchers on board Whales in Paradise Gold Coast Whale Watching vessel Mahi Mahi.

The humpback whales most iconic trait is its tail otherwise know as a fluke.. check out some awesome footage of tail slapping with Whales in Paradise. They use these their tail flukes to propel them through the water using an up and down motion. The Whales in Paradise Gold Coast Whale Watching crew and passengers have reported seeing tail flukes up to 5 meters wide!

To perfect their acrobatic skills, whales do not have external earflaps and their genitalia and mammary glands are completely encased inside their body. This allows them to perform those spectacular displays they put on for Gold Coast whale watchers as seen at www.whalesinparadise.com.au.