Subject: abstract: Male Humpback Whale Dies in Competitive Group

Mike Williamson (
Tue, 13 Oct 1998 21:43:05 -0400 (EDT)

Male Humpback Whale Dies in Competitive Group

A. A. Pack, D. R. Salden, M. J. Ferrari, D. A. Glockner-Ferrari, L. M.
Herman, H. A. Stubbs, J. M. Straley (1998). Marine Mammal Science, 14 (4),

On 9 February 1996, we observed a dead adult male humpback whale in waters
off Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii.  It had been a member of a competitive group of
at least four whales approximately 1 h 40 min earlier, and evidence
presented here suggests it died during the ongoing competitive activities.
Three whales from this competitive group remained with the dead whale and
directed a variety of behaviors toward it.  One of these three, later
identified as a male, remained with the dead whale for over four hours.
Here, we summarize the events preceding and following the death of the
whale and describe more fully the behaviors of the other whales toward it.

Reprint requests can be sent to:

Adam Pack, Ph.D.
Kewalo Basin Marine Mammal Laboratory
1129 Ala Moana Blvd.
Honolulu, HI  96814