Sunday, October 31, 2010

Citizen scientist discovers trek of humpback

Gale McCollough is a school teacher who lives near the small seaside town of Hancock, Maine. From that humble location, she recently made an extraordinary discovery.
Using the photo-sharing site Flickr and a personal history of studying whale photos, she identified a picture, taken in 2001 by tourist Freddy Johansen in Madagascar, of an Antarctic humpback known to scientists as #1363. Two years earlier, researchers had spotted 1363, a female, swimming alongside another whale in Brazil. Brazil to Madagascar. That’s a distance of 6,000 miles, nearly double any documented migration by a humpback.

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