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Azura Retreats Blog

Azura Whale Migration

From the Azura Team - September 2017

All over the world, whales leap high into the air and crash back into the water, slapping their tails and fins on the ocean’s surface on the way down. This behaviour is called "Breaching", and is far more common when pods of humpback whales are far apart (at least 4,000 meters or 2.5 miles). Fin or tail slapping is more frequent as groups split or come together.

Scientists (including University of Queensland marine biologist Ailbhe Kavanagh), say these patterns suggest breaching and slapping play a role in both long-distance and close-range communication. By slamming their massive bodies into the water, the resulting sounds, like a drum, can travel enormous distances.

"Even though these whales can produce calls that travel great distances, if there’s a lot of noise, it might be easy to drown out. Leaping up in the air and splashing down is equivalent to the really keen kid in a classroom jumping up and down waving his arms” - Chris Parsons, a cetacean biologist at George Mason University in Virginia

Watch this incredible drone footage of a family of humpback whales breaching and jumping out of the water, taken by our team at Azura Benguerra.

Filmed with a DJI Phantom 3 Pro drone at the luxurious Azura Retreats lodge on the idyllic Benguerra Island