Aramis

Humpback Whale

ligne décoration
  • ID number

    H689

  • Sex

    Female

  • Year of birth

    2007

  • Known Since

    2007

Distinctive traits

We recognize this individual thanks to her undertail colour pattern, which has earned her her name taken from the Three Musketeers. On her right lobe, there are two lines that intersect like two swords.

© GREMM
Aramis et Tic Tac Toe, nageant ensemble, été 2013
Aramis, 24 juillet 2011 © GREMM
Aramis, 12 juillet 2016

Life history

Née au début de 2007 dans les eaux chaudes des Caraïbes, Aramis est le premier baleineau de Tic Tac Toe, un individu régulièrement observé en Gaspésie, aux Îles Mingan et dans le parc marin du Saguenay-Saint-Laurent. À cette époque, elles avaient créé tout un émoi en arrivant ensemble dans l’estuaire. En effet, si les rorquals à bosse sont fréquemment observés avec leurs jeunes dans le golfe, il s’agissait là d’un événement sans précédent dans ce secteur du Saint-Laurent. Comme sa mère, Aramis a adopté la région. Il arrive d’ailleurs encore qu’on les observe toutes deux nageant ensemble.

Le 16 juillet 2013, une équipe formée d’intervenants du GREMM et de Pêches et Océans Canada a fixé une balise télémétrique sur son dos. En plus de permettre à l’équipe d’évaluer la profondeur des plongées et la vitesse de l’animal, cette mesure a donné la possibilité à Parcs Canada de recueillir des données sur son alimentation.

Observations history in the Estuary

2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019

Years in which the animal was not observed Years in which the animal was observed

Latest news from the publications Portait de baleines

At last, a familiar humpback has arrived in the Marine Park! We recognize this individual thanks to her undertail colour pattern, which has earned her her name taken from the Three Musketeers. On her right lobe, there are two lines that intersect like two swords. Aramis has been observed in the Estuary since 2007, the year she was born. She is thus 9 years old. Sometimes she is observed alone, sometimes accompanied by her mother, Tic Tac Toe. In 2007, this duo represented the first observation of a humpback mother-calf pair swimming together in the history of the Marine Park. Perhaps one day we will have the chance to see Aramis accompanied by a young of her own…

Aramis was admired from multiple angles during her time in the Marine Park. Some observers saw her floating on the surface, exposing the tip of her large dorsal fin. This resting behaviour is known as “logging”. Others also observed her accompanied by a young humpback, the calf of Fleuret, swimming by her side in near synchronized fashion. Associations between rorquals are poorly documented. In toothed whales, they have been studied in sperm whales, belugas and killer whales, where individuals of the same species form long-term partnerships that last for years. In contrast, in baleen whales such as rorquals, associations seem to be more temporary and short-lived. Why group together? To reduce the risk of predation? To increase one’s chances of finding food? A hunting strategy? Group formation and the number of individuals composing the group vary not only based on the species, but also on the environment being used. In the St. Lawrence, rarely are large groups of humpbacks observed feeding, as is sometimes observed in other feeding grounds.

The name of Aramis was inspired by the colour pattern under her tail. The two lines on her right lobe resemble two swords that cross like those of musketeers. Aramis was first seen in the Estuary in 2007, the year she was born. She was accompanied by her mother Tic Tac Toe, an individual often observed in the Gaspé, the Mingan Islands and in the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park. Aramis was Tic Tac Toe’s first calf. The two of them are sometimes still observed swimming together. Since then, Aramis has been seen every year in the Marine Park. This season she was seen several times in the company of Gaspar, another humpback. As humpbacks reach sexual maturity at about 5 years, 8-year-old Aramis would therefore be old enough to reproduce. One day we might be lucky enough to see her in the area with a calf of her own.

Humpback whales leave the cold, rich waters waters in the autumn and migrate to the warmer Caribbean for breeding and calving. These warm waters offer more favourable conditions for those activities. For some individuals, migration is not critical. For example, in any given year, some juvenile males are not competitive enough to reproduce and some females do not give birth or mate. It is therefore more advantageous for these individuals to stay where food is more plentiful, rather than travelling thousands of kilometres to warm but nutrient-poor waters. As testified by some observers, it is not unheard of to observe humpbacks or other whales during the cold winter months.

Elle y est arrivée en début de semaine, après un passage remarqué en Minganie, où elle a été photographiée par le MICS. Jeune femelle de six ans, elle a probablement atteint sa maturité sexuelle : est-ce que ce sera bientôt son tour d’être accompagnée d’un petit?

Le 16 juillet dernier, une équipe conjointe GREMM–Pêches et Océans Canada posait une balise télémétrique sur le dos d’Aramis. Déployée à l’aide d’une longue perche, fixée à l’aide d’une ventouse, la balise émet un signal radio chaque fois qu’Aramis fait surface et enregistre toutes les secondes la profondeur et la vitesse de la baleine. En parallèle, Parcs Canada étudie la présence des proies là où la baleine se trouve. De quoi répondre à bien des questions sur l’alimentation des baleines!