Subject: humpback twins?

Rui Prieto (rprieto@dop.uac.pt)
Mon, 28 Sep 1998 18:42:54 -0100

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>Do humpback whales have twins?
>If so, are their fluke patterns the same?
>Travis
>Rockport Elementary School
>

Hello, Travis

Cetacean twins are very rare, and probably unviable in most cases (it means
that they will not survive) because their mother will not have enough milk
for them. I remember reading somewhere an account of cetacean twins but I
can't be sure if it was true or not.
Notwithstanding, in the unlikely case a humpback whale had twins and both
survived, I don't think that the patterns would be the same. The patterns
used for the individual recognition of whales are not only the pigmentation
of the flukes, but also scars on them, and cuts or other characteristics on
the edges of the fluke. Therefore, even if the pigmentation was similar for
the two whales, some scars or callosities and cuts would make a difference
that would make it possible to distinguish the two whales.


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