Humpback Competition

 
 

It has been generally accepted in the literature that the humpback whale mating system involves males competing with one another for access to receptive females. Of course, until this year (see our Blog for February 28, 2010) mating in this species had never been documented, but male-to-male jousts on the winter grounds are quite prominent--ranging from jockeying for position to vigorous bodily contact. These brief sequences give some idea about the vigor of these contests as two 40 ton males clash with one another. These scenes were taken in February 2010 off Maui.

Action in the North Pacific