Colouration of humpback flippers

From: Nancy Stevick (
Date: Fri Feb 04 2000 - 06:58:41 EST

on 3 February 2000, Melissa Groo wrote:

>I wondered if you could answer a question for me on the pectoral fins of
>humpbacks. The BBC is doing a show on humpbacks later this month, and have
>underwater footage of Pacific humpbacks, singing. I know that there is a
>difference in fin coloration between the Atlantic and Pacific populations.
>The singers on film have dark-ish flippers and what we want to know is, if
>story is done in the Caribbean with some footage of these Pacific singers
>will it be obvious to a biologist that they were shot in the wrong ocean?
>I would so appreciate your counsel.
Dear Melissa,

North Atlantic humpbacks flippers are all white except for some black
coloration running down from the body, so it would be obvious to marine
mammal experts that these whales were shot in the wrong ocean.

Nancy Stevick

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