Subject: Humpback feeding and bubble feeding

Lindsay J Porter (
Sun, 5 Apr 1998 21:34:35 +0800 (HKT)

>If you get this email by April the 7th 1998, I would really appreciate it
>if you would take a few moments to read the brief blurb on humpback feeding
>which I've typed in below.
>I am the researcher at a children's magazine in Toronto, Canada and we are
>under extremely tight deadlines at the moment. In publishing a children's
>magazine we are very concerned that all info we print is accurate. It is
>very helpful to us if an expert can give our blurbs a quick read and let us
>know if it reads okay, or if there are any factual changes that need to be
>If you have a few moments please read the following:
>Humpback whales blow bubbles to fish for their dinner. No joke! Unlike
>fish, whales don't breathe underwater. They swim to the surface and breathe
>through a blow-hole on their backs. Humpbacks hang out in groups and they
>work as a team when they feed. A lead whale takes a big breath and swims
>under a school of fish while the others wait nearby. The lead whale swims
>in circles blowing a steady stream of bubbles through its blow-hole and
>making sounds to scare the fish. The rising bubbles form a net around the
>fish. Afraid to swim through it, the fish dart up and away from the sound
>of the lead whale. But there's no escape. The other whales charge up
>through the net with their mouths open, devouring everything in their path!
>That's it! Are there any factual errors or is it okay? We'd be happy to
>credit you as a consultant and I'll send you copies of the mag as soon as
>it comes out if you just let me know your mailing address.

Dear Alexa,
Reads fine - I checked up on a  few web sites / refs to make sure it was
factual (having never studied feeding behaviour of humpbacks myself).  Only
thing I would change (and there always has to be one - right?) is that
blowholes are on the top of their heads rather than their backs.

Some websites which may be of present/future use are

Humpback Whale Adoption

3D animation of feeding humpbacks

Hawaiian Humpbacks

Hervey Bay, Australian humpbacks

All best
Lindsay J Porter 
(PS no need to send a copy of the article or credit me in anyway.  If
possible you could mention the WhaleNet Website - but check with system
manager first - Mike Williamson on <> )  
Dolphin Research Group
The Swire Institute of Marine Science
The University of Hong Kong
Cape d'Aguilar
Hong Kong