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RMOT 101 Marine mammals day 2


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Pacific White-sided dolphin physical characteristics
[Back]


• Short snouts/beaks, light grey streaks along sides • High dorsal fin - dark at the front and light at the back

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Pacific White-sided dolphin physical characteristics
• Short snouts/beaks, light grey streaks along sides • High dorsal fin - dark at the front and light at the back
Pacific White-sided dolphin behaviour (Social and feeding)
• Can travel in large groups - mainly seen offshore but now observed in SOG • Acrobatic - often ride in bow wakes of boats; travel with grey whales and humpback whales • Feed on several spp. of schooling fish
How does Dall’s porpoise differ from Orcas?
Dall's: -Lack white eye patch or saddle patch -Has white on small dorsal fin, a white belly patch, tail is edged in white - Small head and snout
Dall's are regularly seen in BC waters. How would you identify them while swimming?
Often produce a “rooster tail” when swimming at the surface - High speed swimmers
Why are harbour porpoises rarely seen even though they are common in SOG?
Shy in nature, surface only for short periods, avoid boats
What is the status of harbour porpoises and why?
Listed as Special Concern because numbers are unknown
What is unique about sperm whale teeth?
Conical teeth found only in small lower jaw; fit into holes in the upper jaw
Characteristics of suborder Mysticeti
Baleen whales: • Have two blow holes (do not echolocate) • undergo migrations from cold temperate feeding areas to warm tropical mating areas • Generally have less complex social structure than toothed whales
What is unique about the grey whale's dorsal fin?
They don't have one - instead have series of bumps and ridges before tail
What is the status of the grey whale?
Blue listed, Special concern
Grey whale feeding
Bottom feeders - strain the mud for invertebrates + actively feed on herring spawn in eelgrass beds
Grey whale migration
Undertake long migrations from winter breeding grounds (Baja) to summer feeding grounds (Alaska) – 16,000 km round trip; longest of any mammal – Humpbacks off of BC coast make breeding migrations to Hawaii - Coastal species (stay close to shore during migrations)
Characteristics of the humpback whale
• Rorquals whale • Dark grey on the back, white throat and belly • Long pectoral flippers with white on the underside • Black and white patterns on underside of tail flukes unique to individuals • Nobs or bumps on the top of the head
Humpback feeding
- Feed in groups - form bubble nets to concentrate prey, then lunge into concentration taking large gulps which are strained through baleen
What are humpback whales known for?
Songs on breeding grounds and impressive breaches
How do you identify a minke whale?
- Sharp rostrums - recurved dorsal fin set about 2/3 of way along the back - Distinctive white marking on pectoral fin
Minke whale feeding
-Feed by gulping or skimming water surface for krill and herring -often seen with flocks of seabirds
Physical characteristics of the fin whale
Second largest whale in BC • White right lower lip (left side all grey) • Usually white chevron on back behind head; underside is also white • Distinct ridge runs from dorsal fin to the tail
Sei whale characteristics
• Greyish-white with circular scars over body • Dorsal fin quite prominent; lack the chevron seen in fin whales - White spots
Characteristics of the right whale
• Narrow rostrum, large lower jaw, and crusty lumps (callosites) top of head • Generally black with a white spot on the underside • Lack pleats and dorsal fin - Unique mouth shape "_n"
What is the status of the right whale?
Endangered, Red listed • Is the most endangered whale in N. pacific (may be <100) • Named because the “right” whale to hunt – floats to the surface when dead