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ALL ABOUT WHALES!
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Whale Glossary
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U-Z

Breaching

Breaching: Many whales are very acrobatic, even breaching (jumping) high out of the water and then slapping the water as they come back down. When a large whale breaches, the splash can be heard for up to a kilometer. Sometimes the whales twirl around while breaching.

Breaching may be done purely for play or may be used to loosen skin parasites, have some social meaning, or to communicate with other whales.

Most species of whales are known to breach at times. Humpback whales are very acrobatic and known for their energetic breaching, as are gray whales and right whales. Humpbacks breach more frequently when the seas are rough (and their normal vocalizations are less likely to be heard over the roar of the seas). This suggests that the noise of breaching may be used as a signal.





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