FitDiver® SPECIAL EDITION May 2015 - Page 11

Did you see that Peduncle!

Humpback Whales get their name from the prominent arch on their backs seen between their dorsal fins and tails . This arch

is created when Humbacks flex their large penduncle

muscles as they are getting ready to dive deep or

move their tails for swimming. Peduncle

maneuvers or throws also include tail

slaps and sideways moves. Unlike

the lower backs of humans which

can be quite vulnerable, the

peduncle muscle is the

strongest muscle in the

animal kingdom.

Humpback Whale, Maui

© Gretchen M. Ashton