“Tail lobbing” or “flipper slapping” is common among cetaceans, especially those with those species which have more complex social structures. The sound of the slapping can be heard for great distances and is thought to be a form of non-verbal communication.
The theory is that it’s a way of fishing. When they slap their fins, it may attract fish to the area. I’ve learned that sometimes breaching or slapping is a way for them to relieve an itch, and sometimes these activities have social relevance (for instance, slapping their tails can be a form of aggression for species that travel in pods).
The wikipedia page about surfacing behavior is really interesting!
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