PHOTOIDENTIFICATION

 
 
 

This technique consists of obtaining a photograph of the underside of the humpbacks´ fluke.  The fluke presents a coloration pattern which varies from completely white to completely black, and has scars, lines, spots and notches that, together with its border, form and size of the central notch, provide the whale with unique characteristics distinctive for each adult  individual (Katona & Whitehead, 1981). This allows scientists to distinguish one individual from another, just as with human fingerprints. 

Also, the form and scars of the dorsal fin can provide us with information about the whale’s identity. Taking photos of the underside of the flukes of humpback whales, beside showing the humpbacks magnificence, it provide us with useful information that is used to estimate population numbers, study behavior, birth rates, migration routes and much more, hence its importance.

 
 

 
 
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