Subject: Whales breaching

Jennifer D. Philips (
Wed, 06 May 1998 18:06:04 -1000

>Dear Jen;
>I have two questions for you:
>1.)  What is the average heigth of a whales breach?  (ie. percentage of body
>that leaves the water.) 
>2.)  Is there any data on whales saving people?  If so what is it. 

1)  Most whales can breach as high as the length of their body out of the
water, though larger animals like the blue whale are not able to jump quite
that high.  A blue whale can be 100 ft long, but it probably can only
breach half or two thirds of that height.  
But humpbacks, for example, easily breach over 50 feet out of the water,
clearing their entire body out of the water, then slapping back down again
with a huge splash.

2)  I have to say that I am not sure about actual DATA of a whale, or
dolphin, saving a person.  I have heard many stories though, and some are
probably true.  Most of the stories I have heard have involved dolphins.
I've never heard of a whale involved in saving someone.   Sorry I can't
give you more info on this one!

I hope this helps.  Thanks for your questions.  

Aloha - 



Jennifer D. Philips

Marine Mammal Research Program
HIMB, University of Hawaii at Manoa
PO Box 1106			
Kailua, HI  96734
voice:  (808) 247-5063
fax: (808) 247-5831