Barnacles have taken the concept of fast food delivery to a whole new level when it comes to their relationship with humpback whales. Starting their lives as tiny drifting larvae, barnacles eventually settle and usually grow on immobile objects, such as rocks. However, for a lucky few, a humpback whale becomes their home and meals-on-wheels service.
Even though they are large animals, humpback whales do have natural predators. Transient orca whales and some species of sharks prey on humpback whales, usually targeting young whales, or adults that are sick or in distress. 'Rake marks' are the name given to the parallel scars often seen on whale flukes. Scientists wondered what caused these markings and discovered that they have the same spacing as orca teeth. Many adult humpbacks have rake mark scars from a close encounter with a predator when they were younger.