Sat. May 25th, 2024

A gray whale in the Atlantic, 200 years after its disappearance.

By ki0nk Mar8,2024

There was a sighting of a gray whale on March 1 off the coast of Massachusetts, which is located in the United States. On the other hand, it is believed

that the species has been extinct in the Atlantic Ocean for more than two hundred years. On the other hand, the scenario would have been different if the ice in the Arctic had melted.

On March 1, 2024, researchers coming from the New England Aquarium in Boston, which is located in the United States, were taken aback when they saw a gray whale while they were on a reconnaissance flight.

According to the American channel WFSB, the animal was observed in the Atlantic Ocean approximately 48 kilometers off the coast of Massachusetts. On the other hand, despite the fact that it is still found in the northern Pacific, the species has been deemed extinct in the Atlantic for the past two centuries.

According to Orla O’Brien, one of the scientists who was present, “I didn’t want to say out loud what it was because it seemed crazy to me.” During the course of the researchers’ flight through the region, which lasted for forty-five minutes and included the taking of photographs, the individual was properly identified. The absence of a dorsal fin, skin that is speckled with gray and white, and a dorsal hump that is followed by strong crests are the distinguishing characteristics of gray whales.

In order to verify their hypothesis that the creature in question was a rare gray whale, the researchers in the airplane flew in a circle above it for around forty-five minutes while snapping photographs.

“I didn’t want to say out loud what it was because it seemed crazy,” said Orla O’Brien, an associate research scientist at the New England Aquarium. “It seemed crazy.”

It was stated by the aquarium that gray whales are easily distinguishable from other species due to the fact that they do not possess a dorsal fin and possess particular characteristics in their skin and dorsal hump.

Gray whales have been absent from the Atlantic Ocean since the 18th century, despite the fact that they are frequently observed in the northern Pacific Ocean.

According to the findings of the experts, there have been five sightings in the waters of the Atlantic and Mediterranean over the course of the past 15 years. During the month of December, one of those occurred off the coast of Florida. It is quite likely that the whale that was observed in Florida was the same whale that the scientists from the aquarium saw on Friday.

Following the completion of the photographs, O’Brien presented them to research technician Kate Laemmle, who was also present aboard the aircraft.

“My brain was trying to process what I was seeing, because this animal was something that should not really exist in these waters,” Laemmle elaborated.

“We were laughing because of how wild and exciting this was — to see an animal that disappeared from the Atlantic hundreds of years ago.”

The scientists at the New England Aquarium believe that the sightings in the Atlantic and Mediterranean are due to climate change. It has been reported that the Northwest Passage, which connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans above Canada, has been devoid of ice throughout the last recent summers, which has enabled whales to go through it.

“The significance of each survey is brought into spotlight by this sighting. Despite the fact that we anticipate seeing humpback, right, and fin whales, due to the fact that the ocean is a dynamic environment, it is impossible to predict what you will discover,” O’Brien stated. “These sightings of gray whales in the Atlantic serve as a reminder of how quickly marine species respond to climate change, given the chance.”

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By ki0nk

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