Tail Slapping


The trade winds have been picking up and even though it’s windy, the sky is beautiful and clear.  In the past few days we’ve been seeing quite a bit of surface activity while out on the boats, particularly a lot of tail slapping. Cows and calves, single adults, adults in competition pods. It seems like everyone is doing it!

Like with other behaviors, it’s hard to know why exactly the whales are tail slapping. One prominent hypothesis is that tail slapping is a form of communication.  The sound above water sounds like an explosion, even at a distance, and sound carries farther underwater.

Whatever the reason the whales are tail slapping, and whether it's right-side up or upside down, it’s incredibly impressive to watch and must take a great deal of dexterity. With their head underwater, the tail slapping whale will spread its pectoral fins out to the side just under the surface of the water to stabilize itself as its begins slapping.

Check out some awesome video and photos of tailslapping!



Thanks for sharing the videos! Can't wait to see the whales again for myself... My husband and I are looking forward to bringing our 2 boys along too... they'll love it! :)

Sandy M. Prout (visitor) says:

Looks like a young child having a temper tantrum!