Aug 31

Another day, another trip to southern Stellwagen.  We were lucky to find Rapier and her calf traveling with Lutris.  Lutris has a marking on the right fluke which resembles a sea otter floating on its back, and thus it’s namesake; Enhydra lutris is the scientific name for sea otters.  Rapier’s calf was rolling at the surface quite a bit, so we were able to identify it as a girl based on the presence of a hemispherical lobe.  The hemispherical lobe is only found in females and is about two-thirds of the way down the underside of the whale.  Typically, it is difficult to identify the gender of humpback whales based on the hemispherical lobe because we don’t get a look at that part of the whale, but every once in a while we’ll get a whale that cooperates for a gender shot!

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