Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Strangely Located Callosities

Right whale #3760 with back and side callosities
in addition to the callosities on the head

Right whales are known for their callosities on their face where facial hair is often found, eyebrows, mustache and chin whiskers and these are used to identify individuals. However, a right whale calf was born in 2007 with additional callosities on its back and right side, #3760, the calf of Derecha, #2360. First seen on June 2, 2007 as a tiny calf in the Great South Channel off Cape Cod, this calf hadn't been seen in the calving area off Florida and Georgia in the winter and is thought to have been a late birth.
Derecha is an unusual mother and seems to want to head south when she has a calf. In 2004 after being seen off Florida she was spotted off Texas in the Gulf of Mexico! She eventually turned around and was spotted in the Bay of Fundy in September. In 2007 after being spotted off Cape Cod with her tiny calf, the next sighting was in Florida on July 17! She turned up in the Bay of Fundy, again in September with her unusual calf. #3760 spent time in the Bay of Fundy last September (2009) when the photographs above were taken.

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