Saturday, September 8, 2007

Let me check your back

Remember how we’ve talked a time or two about individual animal identification? I just found out that the humpback whale has its own ID - the shape and color pattern on its dorsal (upper) fin and flukes (tail)! Researches can use this fact to tell humpbacks apart. Pretty cool, huh?

Yesterday’s orca could be measured in pounds. With these guys that’s not so workable, since they weight 25 to 40 tons! Even a baby humpback (calf) weighs almost a ton. Adult males measure 40 to 48 feet long and females, 45 to 50 feet. Calves range from 10 to 15 feet.

Here’s a beautiful video done by Cousteau divers.

It made me think of the 20 year old movie, Star Trek IV – The Voyage Home – where they come back to earth to get a whale to take to the future. I remember the whale’s name, Gracie, whom Spock said was pregnant, but I’d have to watch the movie again to see if she was a humpback or not, but I think so. Guess that’s my homework assignment . . .

Jungle Jane

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