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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

10-21-14 Barnacles Gave A Clue As To Who

Tuesday, October 21st
...thinking the killer whales had continued up island (which seemed a bit unusual) I figured we would go north today and look for them...and maybe find some of the humpback whales that had been in the vicinity a couple days ago...
...but I learned that the L pod whales had turned and gone back down last evening...what?!
...I spotted the blow of a humpback whale in the distance...on Maya's Westside Charters we headed in that direction...as we approached Capt. Jim saw a second whale!
...they were at the surface moving slowly, looked like they might be in a resting mode...then they fluked (sounded)...
...figuring they would be down for several minutes, I thought I would scan around...and as I put my camera down I said to myself, "watch they'll probably do something because I'm looking away."  One second later (no joke) one and then the other breached...I guess they woke up...
...at least I got the second one breaching...
...they got into a frisky mode...

video

...as I looked through my images, I noticed the barnacles...
...one whale had lots and the other hardly any...
...looks more like a crocodile than a whale with all those barnacles on the whale's bumps, called tubercles (hair follicles)..it makes them stand out even more...
...look at the outer edges of the tail flukes on these two...
...either lots or none...
...same with their pec fins...
...it's Split Fluke BCX1068 who has the barnacles in all those places...
...I wonder why that is...one much older than the other?...where they spend most of their time?...maybe there is no reason at all and that's just the way it is.
...in looking for more information I found several articles about this...here are a couple links: article on the Pacific Whale Foundation site...
...and on the scienceonline site: How Do Barnacles Attach to Whales?
 
...these two whales are known in this area and are often seen together but not always...this is the time of year the humpbacks are moving down, stopping off in these waters while on their way to their winter grounds...
...one last look before we leave...Salt Spring Island in the distance...


...the whales and the barnacles continued on their way...except at this moment they were going in the wrong direction!
 

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