Subject: Humpback: question about Humpback whale (fwd)

Mike Williamson (
Thu, 22 Oct 1998 08:36:35 -0400 (EDT)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 21 Oct 1998 16:35:11 -0400
From: Greg Early <>
Subject: Re: question about Humpback whale

At 12:42 PM 10/17/98 -0500, you wrote:
>Does the markings on the fluke ever change?If so how do you follow the
>same whale?
>    "I saw a breaching Humpback whal when I took a trip to Alaska with
>my family"

Hello there,

Alaska is a good place to see whales and it sounds like you had a fine
trip.  Humpbacks have a color pattern on the bottom of their tail that is
distinct for individuals.  While some of the color patterns change over
time to some extent, the basic pattern stays the same.  Some marks (like
scars) may be added over time as well.  Humpbacks can also be identified by
the shapes of their fluke tips and edges and the shape of their dorsal fins.


Greg Early
Edgerton Research Laboratory				
New England Aquarium
Central Wharf
Boston, Mass 02110
617-973-5246 (phone)
617-723-6207 (FAX)