Subject: Humpback predators

Jennifer D. Philips (jphilips@soest.hawaii.edu)
Wed, 04 Nov 1998 09:39:07 -1000

>Hello Jennifer, I am a student at The Marine Institute of Memorial
>University of Newfoundland and am despertly seeking information about
>predators of Humpbacks.=A0 I need fairly specific information on the
>humpbacks place in the food chain and have found loads of information on
>what humpbacks consume but, not on what eats (or just kills) them.=A0 I
>realize that you are located in the Pacific but, any relavent info on
>predators to the Atlantic population would be incredably appreciated!=A0 I
>can be reached at
>
>gregoryp@ganymede.cs.mun.ca
>
>Sincerely, Greg Perchard, Marine Environmental student
>
>PS- this may be obscure, but I have heard that "giant squid" are
>predators, is there any real basis for this statement?
>

The only known predator of humpback whales is the killer whale, which is=
 known
to attack and kill the whales, especially during their migration.  The=
 females
are particularly vulnerable prey, as they are often accompanied by their
calves
during the migration from the calving grounds back up to the feeding
grounds. =20

As far as I know, there are no other predators.  Other possibles may be the
great sharks, such as tiger sharks or white sharks, though I do not know of
any
known reported incidence of predation of sharks on whales.  Of course, the
biggest predator historically has been humans. =20

As for squid, the sperm whale feeds on the giant squid in the deep oceans,
which can be dangerous prey!  These squid can be as long as the sperm whale
itself, or close, so many sperm whales will get injured or even perhaps=
 killed
during the fight.  Humpbacks, however, do not feed on giant squid, so would
definitely not be considered in danger from them.

I hope I've answered your question.  Write again anytime!

Aloha -
Jen Philips
__________________________________

Jennifer D. Philips	=09
jphilips@soest.hawaii.edu

Marine Mammal Research Program
HIMB, University of Hawaii at Manoa
PO Box 1106		=09
Kailua, HI  96734
voice:  (808) 247-5063
fax: (808) 247-5831

http://www.hawaii.edu/smmhsc
__________________________________