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The Reasons Behind the Migration of Humpback Whales

Humpback whales have a record-setting migration history. These whales travel more than 10,000 kilometres every year when they migrate from their feeding grounds, located in the cold waters of Antarctic, to the breeding grounds of warm tropical and sunny Queensland. If you didn’t know this, then let me break it to you that this journey happens to be the longest migration in all animal history. But the question is why do whales make this long journey every year? There are actually two big reasons. In this article, we’ll discuss these two basic reasons behind the epic journey of humpback whales.

1- It’s because of the food

It’s the same reason as to why we jump in our cars and travel a long distance to buy our favourite food or to dine at our favourite restaurant. Whales do the same thing. They’re actually quite a foodie. In fact, eating happens to be one of the activities that keep them busy. Considering that they’re so big, they need a lot of food, which means a lot of krill. Whales love to eat krill. These small prawn type creatures are up to only 4cm in length and they’re found in oceans all over the world. However, the krill-fest in the Antarctic Ocean during the summer-time is simply irresistible to whales. They actually eat about 1800 kilograms of krill every day! Thus, krill happens to be the number one reason why whales migrate to Antarctic waters.

Now, one might ask why do whales leave all the tasty krill in the Antarctic and return back to warm Australian waters.

2- It’s because of the motherly love

Whales do not only have big appetites and stomachs. Nature has also given these mammals a really big heart. Humpback whales choose to leave their feeding grounds behind and journey back to the warm waters of Australia’s eastern coast to enjoy their mating season and give birth. Yes, the subtropical and warm waters of the Great Barrier Reef happen to be the breeding ground for these whales. The reason they choose these waters to be their breeding ground is that the baby humpback whales do not have enough body fat to survive in the extremely cold waters of the Antarctic.

Once these whales have given birth in these waters, and as spring arrives in Australia, the young calves also begin to feel like experiencing the migration journey to the krill-rich waters of the Antarctic.

Do You Want to Witness This Epic Journey?

Now that you know why these mighty humpback whales travel such a long distance of 10,000km every year between their feeding ground and breeding ground, you might as well want to witness this fascinating journey between the two continents of Australia and Antarctica that tempts hundreds of tourists. You can join the whale watching tours provided by Oz Whale Watching in Australia and witness a tiny part of this amazing migration journey between May and July, or you can experience their return journey to Australian waters from September to November.

Humpback whales can travel at the speed of 5 miles per hour, but when they migrate, they usually slow down and travel at the speed of 1 mile per hour. It’s because they like to socialize and rest along the way as well. Whale watching tours have been a fascination for people for a very long time, and it continues to be so to this day!

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