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Photographer's Note

Those distinctive bumps covering the heads of humpback whales are actually oversized hair follicles. About the size of your fist, these 'tubercles' form a kind of ringed fortress, protecting the hair inside. Within each tubercle is a bundle of thick nerve cells connected to the hair, which sticks out a few centimeters from the middle of the mound like a lonely flag. So what do humpbacks and other whales use their highly enervated and sensitive facial whiskers for? It's one of the best-kept secrets in the scientific world. And the secret is this: scientists don't really have a clue.

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Additional Photos by Robert DeMay (BOBDEMAY) Silver Note Writer [C: 0 W: 0 N: 20] (42)
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