Humpback Whale "Springboard"
Megaptera novaeangliae

f5.6 @ 1/640s, ISO:100, Nikon D80 w 300mm

"Humpback Whale," Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The varying patterns on the tail flukes are sufficient to identify individuals. A study using data from 1973 to 1998 on whales in the North Atlantic gave researchers detailed information on gestation times, growth rates, and calving periods, as well as allowing more accurate population predictions by simulating the mark-release-recapture technique (Katona and Beard 1982). A photographic catalogue of all known North Atlantic whales was developed over this period and is currently maintained by College of the Atlantic. Similar photographic identification projects have begun in the North Pacific by Structure of Populations, Levels of Abundance and Status of Humpbacks, and around the world. Special thanks to Laura Howes, Director of Marine Education & Conservation, Boston Harbor Cruises, with assistance in identifying the whale.
Stellwagen Bank, Massachusetts