By staff reporter
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Reports are coming in of a humpback whale being sighted off a Norfolk beach.
Several people have been on the beach at Winterton on Sea, north of Great Yarmouth, watching the whale at sea.
The humpback whale is one of the most easily recognised whale species. Reaching between 40 and 50 feet in length, a humpback can weigh up to 48 tons. They are identified from other whales due to their large flippers, almost one-third of their body size, and the hump on their backs. Humpback whales are anywhere from a gray to black colour and have white markings on their underside. Differing in every whale, these markings are like fingerprints, allowing researchers to identify individuals.
Humpback whales live in oceans across the globe and can be seen in shallow water. Generally, these whales live and travel together in pods upwards of 20 whales.
They were first protected as endangered animals in 1966. Currently, it is believed 30,000 to 40,000 humpback whales are left or about 30 percent of their original population.