40 FT Humpback Whale, 250+Dolphins Spotted Off Cape May, NJ
Tuesday was quite a day to be whale watching in Cape May. A 40-foot humpback whale and a large pod of bottlenose dolphins were sighted off the coast of Cape May.
The whale-watching boat company, Cape May Whale Watcher, posted on Facebook about the sightings Tuesday, complete with photos taken of the whale partially breaching the water by the George Myers Naturalist intern, Aubrey, from the Nature Center of Cape May.
The humpback whale was observed lunge-feeding ten times according to the social media post. When the humpback lunge-feeds, it lunges for fish at high speed with its mouth open. With its throat expanding to several times its normal size, it takes in a giant mouthful of water and prey and then forces water out with its powerful tongue.
This lunge feeding brings the whale to the surface, which is partially responsible for whales becoming victims of vessel strikes, according to frontiersinmarinescience.org.
The Facebook post says a large pod of bottlenose dolphins, known as a superpod, containing an estimated 250-300 dolphins, could also be seen in the waters off of Cape May on Tuesday enjoying Atlantic Menhaden -- feeder fish.
Most bottlenose dolphin pods contain anywhere from 2 – 30 dolphins depending on the situation, however, there are occasions when pods gather with other pods to form superpods of 100 or even several thousand dolphins.
Thanks to Naturalist intern Aubrey and the Cape May Whale Watcher for these great photos!