2015-03-30 Photos of the vibrissa in the tubercles on a humpbacks head Print
Written by Andrew Stevenson   

If you look closely above and below, you can see the vibrissa on the tubercles on the whale's head.

The head (rostrum) of the humpback whale is a third of the total body length and is covered in tubercles. These nodules are found along the upper and lower jaws and along the lips. Each tubercle is about the size of a golf ball and each has a stiff sensory hair or vibrissa around 1.2 to 2.6 cm long which is connected to a nerve with a rich blood supply suggesting a function as a sensory organ - perhaps to detect current and temperature changes in the water to aid in navigation or in finding prey.



Pretty cool seeing the actual vibrissae on a whale's head!