Maui News

New research unveils photos of humpback whale pair, sheds light on previously undocumented behavior

Listen to this Article
1 minute
Loading Audio... Article will play after ad...
Playing in :00

PC: Lyle Krannichfeld and Brandi Romano

A new study published in the scientific journal Marine Mammal Science, sheds light on a previously undocumented aspects of humpback whale behavior, captured by two Maui photographers.

Lyle Krannichfeld and Brandi Romano approached Pacific Whale Foundation (PWF) researcher, Stephanie Stack for advice regarding a unique encounter that they had documented while boating recreationally.

What they stumbled upon was an unprecedented observation that was previously unknown to the scientific community, according to the PWF. The groundbreaking photographs provide an unparalleled glimpse into the private lives of these majestic marine mammals, and for the first time capture two male whales engaged in sexual behavior.


The article titled “An observation of sexual behavior between two male humpback whales” is now available online.

Stack, who is the lead author of the paper said, “Despite being well studied for decades, the sexual behavior of humpback whales has remained mostly a mystery until now. This discovery challenges our preconceived notions about humpback whale behavior. While we have long recognized the complex social structures of these incredible creatures, witnessing the copulation of two male whales for the first time is a unique and remarkable event.” 

The PWF says the observation opens new avenues for research into the broader spectrum of cetacean behavior, social structures, and the factors influencing their reproductive strategies. PWF researchers say the document promises to be a catalyst for further exploration into the mysterious lives of humpback whales.


Sponsored Content

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay in-the-know with daily or weekly
headlines delivered straight to your inbox.


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Maui Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments