Whale Watching Season
Whale Watching Season
The endangered Atlantic right whales have made the long trek from Canada and New England down the Atlantic Coast to waters off South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Five of these right whale calves have been spotted flanked by their whale calves.
The ocean this year has not been favorable for these whales due to high winds and not unseasonably cold weather. Last year 39 babies were spotted in the entire calving zone which was a record since survey flights began in 1984.
You can also note a large variety of whales migrating in oceans and seas around the world.
An estimated 300-400 right whales exist since they were almost hunted to extinction. The International Whaling Commission banned the practice in 1949. The more recent threats are ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear. While the regions have rules in place to protect the whales it is difficult to enforce water speeds. It takes four calves to replace one adult female right whale, so safety is extremely important.
These massive mammals weighting up to 70 tons and measuring 35-55 feet long in adulthood journey south to calm waters each year. This is the only know calving ground in the Atlantic Ocean. They begin arriving in December and stay until March or April.
Orca - Killer Whales
Orca Whale Facts
Orca whales are called the killer whales. They do not particularly attak human beings, but they have the ability to take down large marine animals, such as sea lions and smaller whales.
Their huge teeth can grow to 4 inches long, so they can attack other animals easier, so they will prey on most any available animals. They are known to eat " sea birds, squid, octopuses, sea turtles, sharks, rays and fish".
Orcas are the largest known species of the dolphin family, and they are know for their dorsal fins, which are black and white. Behind the dorsal fin, their is a gray area, which is called the saddle as it looks like a saddle.
They grow from 23-37 feet long, and they weigh up to 6 tons. The longest Orca ever recorded was 37 feet long.
The Orcas live in oceans and seas surrounding most coastal countries. They have been know to travel long distances, from 2,000 kilometers (more than 1,200 miles).
The gestation period typically lasts for 17 months, and they nurse for 5-10 secids at a time several times each hour. They are typically 8.5 feet long, and they weigh 265 to 353 pounds.
Since they tend to be very social animals, they live in groups called pods. They also hunt together. They can beach themselves, and then jump into the water to catch their prey.
Many people volunteer and are trained to identify whales and report their sightings. They can be identified by the rough, white patches of skin on their heads called Callosites. In is illegal to be within 500 yards of a right whale.
Anyone can call the hot line 1-888-979- 4253 to report a whale sighting. Among the data researchers dissect is fertility, so the mothers and babies are carefully recorded. Many people love to watch the whales and classes are held from South Carolina to Daytona Beach. To volunteer between St. Augustine and Daytona Beach, contact Marineland at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-904-461-4058 .
Whale with Water Spouting
Humpack Whale Facts
Humpback whales are are part of the family of the blue whale, fin whale. Females tend to be larger than the males at 45-58 feet, while the males are 40-48 feet. They feed on animals sich as, shrimp-like and small fish, but they consume whopping 1.5 tons of food daily. They have no teeth as their baleen plates capture their food.
The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach and US Coast Guard have some concern about surfers in the Pacific Ocean as these whales get quite close to them. They are capable of lifting their 40 tons completely out of their water, so they are consider acrobatic.
Their breeding grown where they care for their young is in warm waters of Tonga. However, they are capable of migrating from from Antartica well up into the Pacific Ocean.
They sing songs that are rather comples, but each population has their own songs. This is not inborn, as they learn from the group.
Whales are fascinating to watch. If you live in an area near whales don't miss the opportunity; grab your binoculars and attend a class.
Many types have whales have been over hunted. For instance, the Orca has often been killed by fisherman as they see them as competition that must be killed to protect the fish population. This is sad, and hopefully restrictions will save all the varies species of whales.
Many people take vacations to areas where they can view the whales migrating.
The copyright, renewed in 2018, for this article is owned by Pamela Oglesby. Permission to republish this article in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.