Whales of the Silver Bank - Flukes & Fluking

humpback whalesThe fluke, or tail fin, of a humpback whale is very broad and flat, ranging in width from 10 to 15 feet. Attached to a muscular base known as the caudal peduncle, the fluke is capable of propelling the whale at over 12 knots for short periods of time. Flukes normally have a serrated edge, a deeply notched center called the median notch, and a variable pattern of black and white markings (used in identification of individuals). The term fluking refers to the action of raising the tail above the water in order to descend sharply beneath the surface.


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