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Some Whales that You Might See Near Shore

MINKE Whale
smallest baleen whale in North American waters. Sometimes seen in bays, inlets and estuaries. Very roughly 100 thousand present in the North Atlantic.
RIGHT Whale
favoured by whalers of old. Endangered. There are less than 350 in the western North Atlantic.
HUMPBACK Whale
hangs out over the continental shelf. Estimated 5 thousand in the North Atlantic. First recordings of whale songs made by the US Navy in World War II, while checking for German U-boats (submarines).
FINBACK Whale
commonly seen off Cape Breton. Estimated 35 thousand in the North Atlantic.
BLUE Whale
The largest known animal that ever lived on the earth. Adults can weigh up to 160 tons (145,000 kg). Newborn calves weigh 2 tons (1800 kg). The world population has been estimated at 15 thousand and the majority live in the southern hemisphere.

Thar She Blows!

The blowhole on top of a whale is a nostril. The spout contains air, moisture from the lungs & oil. The oil absorbs nitrogen from the blood which helps prevent "the bends" which human divers get when the pressure around them changes too rapidly.

When diving, whales also

What do they Eat?

Relatively small stuff: capelin, which is like a smelt, is 16-19 cm (6.5-7.5 in) and 20 gm (20 per pound). Capelin also feeds seals, other fish such as cod & seabirds,for instance puffins. Capelin eats even smaller stuff, such as plankton.

Where to See Them

Whale Links

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