Humpback whales are among the most prevalent species of whales on the planet. They can travel for thousands of miles with little or no rest, and they are known to have very little need of interacting with each other while they travel. Groups can be found throughout the entire world, except for the arctic and antarctic, where humpbacks simply travel on occasion to feed, since the water temperature can be too cold for most whales to thrive. Whales are highly communicative, especially when migrating to the warmer, tropical areas in order to mate and have babies. They typically travel in temporary groups, or pods of a few individuals.
Humpback whales travel for more than 3,000 miles at a time without resting. They are known to migrate between warm and cold areas throughout the year, and are found in all the major oceans. They travel in pods of 2 to 15 individuals, more commonly being spotted in groups of just a few individual whales. These pods are temporary, since the whales don’t typically interact much except for when they mate. Their ability to communicate and swim in formation, however, has surprised and fascinated scientists for years, and despite being individualistic in nature, they work together well to fend off any potential predators.
There are three major groups o humpback whales that do not interact with each other at all. These include whales in the North Atlantic, North Pacific and the Southern Hemisphere. Whales typically travel between warm, tropical regions, and areas closer to the Arctic or Antarctic. In some cases, they don’t go very far to the North or South in order to feed, as some groups of humpback whales have been spotted feeding near the coast of California. Typically, however, they form into temporary groups that travel together from close to the equator to areas like Alaska in the North Pacific, or Greenland in the North Atlantic Ocean, where they feed before heading back for the mating season.
There are good reasons why most humpback whales typically only travel in small pods consisting of 3-4 whales. As scientists have found, humpback whales are an extremely solitary species, where individuals are found to compete with one-another, most especially during mating rituals. The male humpback uses a variety of visual cues and body language gestures in order to communicate that he is fit, healthy and a potentially good partner. In some cases, humpbacks may even charge other males of the species in an attempt to display their dominance and claim their territory. While such behavior is rare, it has been observed to cause significant harm to both whales engaging in the fight.