Thursday, January 8, 2009

121 Years

Is it really 2009 already? I've been so swamped with work lately, writing curricula on orca communication and sound underwater, that I've hardly had time for anything else. As I type this I'm catching up on all my favorite marine science blogs and watching the live dissection of a great white shark. (Have you watched that yet?)

Philip over at the New England Aquarium's Right Whale Aerial Survey Blog reports that a North Atlantic Right Whale has been seen in the Azores by biologists at the University of the Azores Dept. of Oceanography and Fisheries. This observation marks the first time a right whale has been seen around there since 1888. That's 121 years since the last sighting! Also, it turns out that this specific whale had been seen and cataloged by the folks at the New England Aquarium as recently as September of 2008. Whoa. So cool!

As exciting as this news is -- and it is very exciting -- I'm even more impressed with the Right Whale Catalog that the New England Aquarium has put together. Maintaining this resource must be a huge undertaking, and I'm glad to see it readily available online. You know what they say: "Sharing is caring!"


Jives said...

I love browsing the catalog for fun :)

You can so easily follow the life of an individual whale ... it's like a story outline!

Liza said...

I enjoy browsing it as well! The names, when they have them, are fun, too. So far I've seen two that have music related names -- Fermata and Staccato. It would be fun to name the whales. =)

That reminds me... There's a fascinating book by a guy named Victor B. Scheffer called The Year of the Whale. It's a combination of natural history non-fiction and travel adventure fiction, starring a sperm whale calf and mother. I'm sure someone could easily take one of the whales from the catalog and write a grand story!