#27 Our First Mom

Yesterday, we had a very slow and quiet survey day. We had almost completed the entire survey without any sightings, when on our last survey line, we had a special sighting. We had come across whale #1701 (Aphrodite) - the very first mom we saw this season. (Click here to search for #1701 in the North Atlantic Right Whale Catalog.)

As you can see from the photo below, her calf is getting a lot bigger and is even beginning to form a callosity pattern on its head. We first saw Aphrodite with her calf on January 11, 2010, so her calf is estimated to be a little over a month old. A calf's callosity emerges shortly after birth (the black roughened skin on its head, chin and lip) but this pattern typically doesn't stabilize for about a year. As you can see with #1701's calf, it's already forming a very distinctive callosity pattern.

Check back with the blog throughout this week to read an upcoming post further exploring the mother/calf pairs in the Southeast.

Photo Credit: New England Aquarium; Karen Vale


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