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BEHAVIOR hales, the gentle giants of the sea, are some of the most fascinating creatures on Earth, and humpback whales in particular are real crowd pleasers with their amazing acrobatics. They can be seen in Hawaii's near shore waters during winter, and their impressive athletic displays are often visible from miles away, making them a favorite for whale watchers. Although whales spend 90 percent of their lives beneath the surface of the ocean, the small percentage of time they spend exhibiting surface displays provides plenty of thrills for us human observers. The question is, why are humpbacks one of the few whales that put on such exhibitions? Is it for fun? A way of communicating? Are these antics designed to catch prey, help navigate, or W (continued on page 18)

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