Flickr reveals longest whale migration

Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com
October 14, 2010



Communal photo sharing site, Flickr, has allowed researchers to discover the longest migration by a whale yet recorded. Ten years ago a female humpback whale swam from Brazil to Madagascar, covering around 6,090 miles (9,800 kilometers). The migration tops the previous record by 2,485 miles (4,000 kilometers). Not only is this a record for a whale, it’s a record for non-human mammals.

The story of the discovery is epic in itself: a Norwegian tourist recently posted a photo of the whale on Flickr that was taken in 2001 off the coast of Madagascar. Scientists identified the same whale from scientific photos taken in Brazil in 1999. Researchers are able to identify individual whales by unique markings on their tail, called a fluke.

Making the discovery even more surprising is the fact that the behavior of switching from one breeding ground (Brazil) to another (Madagascar) is virtually unheard of. Leaving researchers to wonder what propelled this particular whale to travel half-way across the world: one possibility is that she simply got lost.







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CITATION:
Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (October 14, 2010).

Flickr reveals longest whale migration .

http://news.mongabay.com/2010/1014-hance_flickr.html