Now that we’re starting to see whales in Maui waters again, we thought we’d share a few favorite Humpback whale facts!

The Humpback whale is a distant cousin of the hippopotamus, having deviated from its ancestors nearly 60 million years ago.

maui whales


It’s common to see up to fifteen humpback whales feeding in a group. The dominant animal uses a unique feeding sound and bubble net to coordinate group activity.

Whale Watching

The scientific name of the humpback whale is Megaptera novaeangliae, which means “big winged New Englander”. First described in the Northeast Atlantic, the name is based on its long pectoral fins. The common name “Humpback” refers to its habit of bending its back above the surface before diving.

Humpback whales are known as rorquals, which is the Norwegian word for “red whales”. They were given this name for the pink glow their blood gives their throat underside.

Whale Breach

Newborn whales generally are 50/50 when it comes to female and male offspring. These new calves are born 1-15 feet long and weigh around 1.5 tons! Once born, they already know to rise to the surface for their first air. But diving is taught by the mother.

Visiting Maui and want to see whales first-hand?

Be sure to book a Maui whale watching tour.