A black “iris” shape on the right lobe and a white “seven” in the centre of the tail; cat eyes right in the middle of the tail; and a “ghost” on the tip of the right lobe: these are the respective faces of Irisept (Cocotte), Siam and Gaspar (also called Boom Boom River (BBR) when she is seen in the Gaspé). The unique patterns they show on the undersides of their tails are like their faces. These traits – visible when the animals dive – are often the source of inspiration for the humpbacks’ names. The research team at the Mingan Island Cetacean Study (MICS) named Whip based on the mark on the left lobe of its tail. All these animals are in Gaspésie this week, at the mouth of Gaspé Bay. The excitement was uncontainable on July 7 in a whale-watching boat. “When we move around, we think we are seeing the same individuals, but in fact, they are all different!” exclaimed a naturalist. Humpbacks Bolt, Leprechaun and Tingley were also seen. Tingley, a very large female, was accompanied by a calf. Another humpback was sighted by the MICS team near the Mingan Islands. It was the first of the season for that region!

Observation of the Week - 9/7/2015

Marie-Sophie Giroux

Marie-Sophie Giroux joined the GREMM in 2005 until 2018. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology and a diploma in Environmental Consulting. As Lead Naturalist, she oversees and coordinates the team working at the Marine Mammal Interpretation Centre and writes for Whales Online and Whale Portraits. She loves to share “whale stories” with visitors to the CIMM and readers alike.

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