Scientists Announce 2021 Class Of North Atlantic Right Whales

Twister in the wild CREDIT: New England Aquarium, under NOAA Research Permit #655-1652-01

HYANNIS – Researchers with the New England Aquarium’s Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life recently announced the naming of the 2021 class of North Atlantic Right Whales following a vote of the North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium.

Although every whale is assigned a four-digit number in the North Atlantic Right Whale Catalogue, a database developed by the New England Aquarium, not every whale has a name.

Whales are given names to help field researchers quickly identify them on sight, with nominations submitted based on easily distinguishable features such as scars or markings on the animal.

The aquarium collaborated with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation to create the bios for the 18 newly named whales, a class which includes Musketeer, Spindle, and Twister, named for a scar on his tale that looks like a tornado.

“Many of us who study right whales have come to look forward to the annual naming effort,” said Phillip Hamilton, Senior Scientist with the New England Aquarium.

“The enthusiasm is reflected in the over 280 creative nominations for 18 whales! These names not only help us recognize individual whales in the field, but also help the general public connect more with the beleaguered species.”

North Atlantic Right Whales are classified as critically endangered, with an estimated population of just 336 whales remaining.

By, Matthew Tomlinson, NewsCenter

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