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Rev. biol. mar. oceanogr. 48(1): 185-191

Research Note


Aerial behavior of humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae at the southern limit of the southeast Pacific breeding area

Aldo S. Pacheco1,2, Sebastian Silva2, Belen Alcorta2, Nadia Balducci3, Chiara Guidino4, Miguel A. Llapapasca5 and Fiorella Sanchez-Salazar4

1Instituto de Investigaciones Oceanológicas, CENSOR Laboratory, Universidad de Antofagasta, Av. Universidad de Antofagasta 02800, P.O. Box 170, Antofagasta, Chile
2Pacifico Adventures-Manejo Integral del Ambiente Marino S.A.C., Av. Rivera del Mar s/n, Los Organos, Piura, Perú
3Life Out of Plastic S.A.C., Malecon Armendariz 271, Department 11B, Miraflores, Lima, Perú
4Facultad de Biología Marina y Econegocios, Universidad Científica del Sur, Carretera Panamericana Sur km 19, Lima, Perú
5Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Agraria la Molina, Av. La Molina s/n, La Molina, Lima, Perú



We evaluated the set of aerial displays showed by humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae in the northern coast of Peru, a region that is considered the southern limit of the breeding area of the stock G in the Southeast Pacific. From August to October 2010, aerial displays were quantified from a whale-watching boat together with shore sightings. Our results indicated that the most frequent aerial display was breaching, followed by tail and flipper splashing. The maximum number of displays occurred in September. Groups made of pairs of whales performed the most frequent aerial behavior during the study period. Our results contrast with previous information off Ecuador suggesting that most intense aerial displays are performed when humpbacks are gathered in larger groups (more than 3 whales). These results add new information about humpback whales aerial behavior in the northern coast of Peru.

Key words:   Megaptera novaeangliae, breaching, austral winter, northern Peru


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