Whales: The Largest Mammels on Earth

December 12, 2011 | Author: | Posted in Education

The Bay of Fundy is one of the richest sea habitats in the world and is therefore the summer feeding ground for many marine mammals, seabirds and saltwater invertebrates. When you take part in a Bay of Fundy whale watching journey you may expect to see minke, fin- and humpback whales as well as the most rare big mammal on Earth – the North Atlantic Right Whale.

Other creatures normally seen on such trips include harbor porpoise, dolphins, sharks, seals, bald eagles and a spread of seabird colonies, sometimes including the Atlantic Puffin.

Bay of Fundy Whales

Minke Whale: The smallest and most common baleen whale (Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 2010), minkes are found in the Bay of Fundy across the summer season and well into the fall.

Humpback Whale: Also a baleen whale, Humpbacks are referred to as the acrobats of the sea as they jump above the surface. They’re also one of the loudest and most creative whales when it comes to vocalization and have the biggest range of frequencies. While there are roughly 10,000-15,000 humpbacks living in our seas, they are a species under threat. (EnchantedLearning.com, 2010)

Finback Whales: The second biggest species of whale on earth, Finback whales are renowned for being speedy swimmers. Also a baleen whale, Finbacks are shielded under the Species at Risk Act.

North Atlantic Right Whale: Named for being the “right” whale to hunt by 19th century whalers – due to its slow pace and therefore ease of catch – the North Atlantic Right Whale was nearly hunted to extinction in the late 1800s. Now-a-days, these magnificent whales are on the endangered wildlife list with an estimated population of just 425 remaining; a number that is slowly on the rise (Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 2010). A large portion of this population stops each Aug/Sep in the Bay of Fundy to feed on their way to their winter habitat.

New Brunswick Museum

The New Brunswick Museum, found in Market Square in Uptown Saint John, contains 3 floors of galleries and exhibits. In the “Hall of Great Whales”, a favorite gallery in the museum, hear the story of a North Atlantic Right Whale named Delilah who washed up on the coasts of Fundy, touch a chunk of baleen, learn engaging facts about minkes and humpbacks, and see skeletons and full-body models of several species of whales including the right whale.

Bay of Fundy whale watching tours are a popular activity near the mouth of the Bay as the whales don’t travel too far inwards. There are a considerable number of reputable whale watching companies along both sides of the Bay of Fundy who set out on the seas in a variety of vessels including catamarans, zodiacs, fishing boats and sailing yachts. Visit us soon, for the adventure of a lifetime!

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