According to many sources, a female humpback whale traveled over 10,000 km between breeding sites. She traveled from the reefs of Brazil to the African island of Madagascar, which researchers believe is the longest single trip ever undertaken by a mammal.
Humpback whales are powerful swimmers, and the 40-ton mammals typically can travel up to 5,000 miles in their trips from the North Atlantic and the Antarctic to more temperate areas around the equator. They're known for their eerie songs which travel huge distances underwater and whose precise function remains a mystery. They're also cherished by whale-watchers for their spectacular out-of-the-water jumps, called breaching.
It was by browsing photo-sharing site Flickr that scientists found a photo of this particular humpback, taken by a Norwegian tourist from a whale-watching vessel off the coast of Madagascar in 2001. The photo had been taken with a film camera and the negative sat undeveloped in a drawer for years. Eventually, it was scanned and posted to the Web, where it was spotted and added to the catalog.
They were able to match the Flickr photo to a picture of the whale taken two years earlier in Abrolhos, an area of small volcanic islands off the Brazilian coast. The key to identifying humpback whales is in their tails!
C1 Patterns. Children recognize that patterns in the natural and human designed world can be observed, used to describe phenomena, and used as evidence
C6 Structures and Functions. Students observe the shape and stability of structures of natural and designed objects are related to their function(s).
C1 Patterns. Students identify similarities and differences in order to sort and classify natural objects and designed products. They identify patterns related to time, including simple rates of change and cycles, and to use these patterns to make predictions.
C6 Structures and Functions. Students learn different materials have different substructures, which can sometimes be observed; and substructures have shapes and parts that serve functions.
ESS2.C The Roles of Water in Earth's Processes. Water is found in many types of places and in different forms on Earth
LS1.A Structure and Function. All organisms have external parts that they use to perform daily functions.
LS1.B Growth and Development of Organisms. Parents and offspring often engage in behaviors that help the offspring survive.
LS1.A Structure and Function. Organisms have both internal and external macroscopic structures that allow for growth, survival, behavior, and reproduction.
LS1.B Growth and Development of Organisms. Reproduction is essential to every kind of organism. Organisms have unique and diverse life cycles.
PS4.A Wave Properties. Waves are regular patterns of motion, which can be made in water by disturbing the surface. Waves of the same type can differ in amplitude and wavelength. Waves can make objects move.
ESS2.C The Roles of Water in Earth's Processes. Water cycles among land, ocean, and atmosphere, and is propelled by sunlight and gravity. Density variations of sea water drive interconnected ocean currents. Water movement causes weathering and erosion, changing landscape features.
LS1.B Growth and Development of Organisms. Animals engage in behaviors that increase the odds of reproduction. An organism’s growth is affected by both genetic and environmental factors.
LS4.C Adaptation. Species can change over time in response to changes in environmental conditions through adaptation by natural selection acting over generations. Traits that support successful survival and reproduction in the new environment become more common.
PS4.A Wave Properties. A simple wave model has a repeating pattern with a specific wavelength, frequency, and amplitude, and mechanical waves need a medium through which they are transmitted. This model can explain many phenomena including sound and light. Waves can transmit energy
ESS2.C The Roles of Water in Earth's Processes. The planet’s dynamics are greatly influenced by water’s unique chemical and physical properties.
LS4.C Adaptation. Evolution results primarily from genetic variation of individuals in a species, competition for resources, and proliferation of organisms better able to survive and reproduce. Adaptation means that the distribution of traits in a population, as well as species expansion, emergence or extinction, can change when conditions change.
PS4.A Wave Properties. The wavelength and frequency of a wave are related to one another by the speed of the wave, which depends on the type of wave and the medium through which it is passing. Waves can be used to transmit information and energy.