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The Humpback Whale To look up into the mountains and see the steam rolling from a mountain stream on a cold winters morning is a beautiful sight However to look out over the horizon and see the white spray of salt water coming from the blow of a huge humpback whale is much more exciting sight and a whole lot warmer The first time I had the opportunity to see the ocean was on a vacation to California when I was about 15 years old It was even better than I had dreamed it would be The different animal in the ocean the color of the water and the warm sand between my toes was what made me take a vacation to Hawaii When I first saw the humpback whale I was amazed at their huge size and how they could breach out of the water so gracefully It is as if they were trying to play or show off So when we were asked to choose a favorite animal I had no problem deciding on the humpback whale The hump-back whale gets its name from the distinctive hump in front of the dorsal fin and from the way it raises its back high above water before diving They are a member of the order Cetacea This order is of aquatic mammals and the humpback belongs to the suborder of the Mysticeti The Mysticeti are the baleen whales which have three families and several species The family in which the humpback belongs is the Balaenopteridae the true fin backed whale The thing that separates this genus from the other fin-backed whales is the pectoral fins which grow in lengths of about 164 feet This Genus is called Megaptera meaning great wing Tinker 290 There was a controversy over the species name in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century In 1932 Remington Kellogg finally settled the matter with Megatera
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