Humpback whale

Megaptera novaeangliae
Baleine à bosse

Interesting facts

The scientific name, Megaptera Novaeangliae, meaning “long wings of New-England” refers to both its long pectoral fins(3 to 4m) and where it was first described. The humpback whale migrates from Antarctica (feeding area) and is observable in French Polynesia during Austral winters. They come to our warm waters from June to November to breed, give birth, nurse, and rest. This marine mammal comes close to our reefs, in our passes, bays, and lagoons. Despite its weight, the humpback whale is capable of jumping by propulsing its whole body out of the water at a speed of 35 km/h (21 mph). 
Displays of force between males are frequent on breeding grounds; jumps, strikes at the surface of the water with the tail or pectoral fin. and even physical confrontations. The males produce a song that is shared within each genetically distinct group. 
French Polynesia is a great humpback whale sanctuary. In Tetiaroa the humpback whales are observed outside and around our reef. Whale watching excursions are possible and if the conditions are favorable, you can even swim with these cetaceans.