Researchers Make Whale Discovery

Researchers matched identification photos from COA’s catalogs that were taken off Brazil (Aug. 1999 top two photos) to the photo below taken by Norwegian, Freddy Johansen off the coast of Madagascar (Sept. 2001). Photo courtesy COA.

According to a news release from the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, researchers at the Maine college say they’ve discovered that humpback whales may travel greater distances in the world’s oceans than previously believed.

Breeding grounds are indicated in white. Map courtesy COA

Researchers with the college’s Allied Whale program say they’ve matched a photograph of a humpback with distinctive tail markings taken off Brazil with a photograph of the same whale taken off the coast of east Africa, more than 6,000 miles away.

The photos document the longest recorded journey of a mammal other than a human. Researchers say it also shows whales can move between distinct breeding populations.

Read the full press release and related stories:

College of the Atlantic Release

Bangor Daily News Article

Boston Globe Article