Humpback whale, migration

From: Dagmar Fertl (
Date: Tue Oct 26 2004 - 12:50:15 EDT

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    Dear Madam, dear Mister,

    I am a student in zoology at the University of Liège (Ulg, Belgium). This
    year is my last study year.
    I'm writting you because I have to do a research in ethology. And my subject
    is the humpback migration. I have to explain the "mechanism" of this
    behavior, how do they find their bearingsand, which methods do the scientist
    use to follow them during their travel...
    Can you explain me in some words, give me references (on internet) or send
    me articles?

    Thank you so much for your help,
    Marie-Laurence Dupont, Belgium

    ps: I find your research so exciting...!


    Dear Marie-Laurence Dupont,

    Interesting topic you are working on. There is much published information on
    humpback whale migration and on
    methodology to study humpback whales in general, which leads me to believe
    that this was your first stop for information before doing a library search
    on this topic. I, of course, can point you to some literature, but I'm sure
    you didn't plan on me doing your whole research topic for you. Once you've
    attempted to research your topic more fully, I would be more than happy to
    answer some additional specific questions, but general questions like this
    have often already been answered in the WhaleNet archives, so you might also
    go thru and see if your question hasn't been previously answered.

    I suggest that you try to gain access to the Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals
    which was edited by W.F. Perrin et al. in 2002 and published by Academic
    Press. That book talks about migration in general, and also has information
    on humpback whales specifically. Peter Corkeron and Richard Connor published
    a paper in 1999 "Why do baleen whales migrate?" which was published in the
    scientific journal Marine Mammal Science, vol. 15(4):1228-1245. Last, but
    not least, I recommend you pick up a copy of "Cetacean Societies: Field
    Studies of Dolphins and Whales" which is edited by Janet Mann et al. and
    published in 2000. There is a great article in that book by Phillip Clapham
    entitled "The humpback whale: seasonal feeding and breeding in a baleen
    whale", as well as some other informative articles.

    Good luck with your research topic.


    Dagmar Fertl

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