Do Not Copy

Do Not Copy

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

1-17-12 Revealed: What's Behind Those Mammary Slits

Tuesday, January 17th
...it's been really quiet, a good time to organize photos...or something...I got side tracked...
...hum...just how many Southern Residents do I have a breaching picture of?
...I began to gather them, one whale at a time...going down the list...
...many breaching pics and also many times not enough info to verify who...

...this is an adult male..by the size of the pectoral fins...all the info possible at this point...
...not enough dorsal fin and no saddle patch here...

...this is a female - visual of her mammary slits...
...then I got side tracked again...if I get enough of the 'where white meets black,' along with positive identifiers, then I'll potentially be able to identify breaching whales who give me 'no help' (i.e. no dorsal fin or saddle patch)...
...so my hunt for who I had breaching turned into who did I have that I could match up 'where white meets black'?...and pretty soon that had me on another quest...
..a young female...notice the shape of the white in the genital area...

...an adult female...
..the shape is the same but the mammary slits are more noticeable on the adult than the juvenile...the coloration difference could be due to age or to individuality or even just the lighting and/or angle the picture was taken...
...a juvenile male...

...an adult male...

..I noticed something unusual in this next picture......so I zoomed in...
...something was different about the mammary slits...
...zooming in closer...
...her calf had evidently just nursed...mom's nipples are exposed outside of the mammary slits...amazing......I'm not exactly sure how they do it...but they know, and that's all that really matters...
...I did a search on-line and there was more than one answer...so I'll leave it for you to search...

...my apologies to K27 for invading her privacy but this was just too interesting not to share it... :)