Breaching, Lobtailing, and Surface Behavior

Whales and their kin use a variety of forms of non-vocal communication to share messages with those around them. This includes fluke and flipper slapping, jaw claps, teeth gnashing, bubble emissions, breaches and tail and chin slapping. These behaviors help to indicate aggression, presence of food, presence of that individual animal, or a need for some space. The action of leaping out of the water, or breaching, is believed to indicate a heightened sense of excitement or presence of food. This action may also help get rid of parasites or loose skin.

4 images of whales on surface of water

Photo Credit: Whale and Dolphin Conservation