Monday, April 06, 2009

I'd Like to Introduce...

Hey everyone, it's Danielle with Quoddy Link Marine with some great news! Last season we had 6 whales (out of 10 total that we confirmed) who needed to be named. 5 of the 6 were unknowns, this means that they were not sighted as a calf, and this was the first time they were photographed. The 6th whale was the 2007 calf of Six. Now, 5 of the 6, all the whales but the young calf now have names, well, almost. I got to be a part of the whale naming even again this year (names get suggested and then voted on by naturalists and researchers) and so far, 5 of my names have been chosen, maybe more after the voting is done. A quick explanation, whales are named for the pigmentation on the underside of the fluke (sometime for the unique shape of the jagged trailing edge). Names must NOT be gender specific, the can only be used once and they should be short. So, now, I would like to introduce...

This very special whale is no longer an unknown, this is Campobello. I had the privilege to name this whale and I am so happy that others voted for Campobello as well. Campobello was chosen for the black shape on the left fluke that resembles an island. I wanted this name for more than that reason....Mackie Greene and the Campobello Whale Rescue Team saved this whale from a life-threatening entanglement in December of 2007. I really hope we get to see Campobello this coming summer.

This young whale has been named Meristem. The reason given was "for the lines that are like the offshoots of new stems, production of such is in the meristem". I am assuming it's for the black line around the center of the fluke on both sides.

This young whale has been named Inlet. The reason given was "The lines on the RF (right fluke) look like the opening to a harbor or inlet and the small black line looks like a boat heading towards it."

This whale was given the name Exacto and the reason given was "straight line on left looks like exacto knife".

This whale I need your help with. This was the first humpback whale that we saw in our 2008 season and after the 2 week voting process we have a tie! The 2 names up are Winner ("The white line on lower right center looks a bit like an Oscar") and Flicker ("White mark in center looks like a candle with a flame"). Let me know what you think and I will vote that way. I need to know by April 8th!

Well, those are the 5 whales that we saw during the 2008 season but I also wanted to share with you the whales that I got to name (other than Campobello, of course). These whales were seen in the southern Gulf of Maine.

This whale has been named Pivot because of "On the RF (right fluke), the black lines look like a metal compass. A compass has one end for a pencil/pen and the other end has a point , the compass would pivot at that point."

This unknown's name is now Syrinx because "On the LF (left fluke), trailing edge, the white marks look like a panflute. Another word for
panflute is Syrinx, from greek mythology for the Greek God Pan."

And this whale is now Causeway, "On the lower section of the RF (right fluke), the bridge like shape looks like a causeway bridge".

This whale is now Lightbulb, "white mark on RF (right fluke) that looks like a lightbulb".

This whale's voting is still up for naming because of a tie. My name of Excavate ("On the lower LF (left fluke), the black part looks like a burrow being dug out") is in the running!

The 2008 Gulf of Maine Humpback Naming Event isn't over yet. All of the previously sighted calves, icluding Six's 2007 calf (below) still have to be named. Check back soon and I will have some news for you one the tie-breaking votes and some new whale names.

Thanks for checking in!


  1. Thanks for the updates Danielle! It is exciting to see what names have been picked especially when you get to know the whales and they are finally named. We use to see Six here in Brier Island so it is exciting to hear her calf is now being named. She use to hang out with a whale named nine have you seen this whale in your vacinity?

  2. We have never seen Six or Nine in our area. We don't tend to get the same whales you's very interesting. We seem to have the "kids table" over here. In 2007 we did have one day where we had atleast 13 large adults, including Mr. Burns, Puppet and Mallard but they were here one day and headed back towards NS the next. We do have reports of whales off the Wolves, hopefully it's a sign of a good season to come.

  3. sleekeels7:16 pm

    How about Mont Blanc for six's baby? The mark on the RF looks like a fountain pen, and the flukes are almost sold white.

  4. Hey sleekeels, they already have a Blanco so I worry that would be too similar, but I am thinking on the idea of the fountain pen. Thanks for the suggestion.