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Photo of Chris Clark Chris Clark as seen on Mediterranean On the Rocks: The Sea within the Sea

Click on Chris's photo to read a brief bio.

q What did you learn about the whales from the recordings made by your "pop-ups"? (Question sent by several viewers)

A First the pop-ups have been a great success. Fabrizio Borsani has successfully recovered six, and now we know for the first time that fin whales stay in the Corsica-San Remo area at least through December. We also know now that fin whales in the Mediterranean sound a little bit different than fins that live outside the Mediterranean, for example, off the British Isles. With these recordings we can begin to show whether or not fin whales reside in the Ligurian Sea all year long.

q Can you please tell me where I can find information about the migration routes of the finback whale and the bluefin tuna? This is for a project I'm doing about your story on Mediterranean on the Rocks. (Question sent by Sammy, St. Pius X High School. Houston, TX)

A Migration routes of the fin whale are poorly known. Most of the information comes from metal tags that were shot into fin whales many decades ago. Whales were shot with the tags (which did not harm the whale) and later recovered when the whale was killed. Fin whales are no longer hunted. Today scientists use photographs to resight the same whale in two places and thus decide on migration routes. Also, we use smaller tags with radio or satellite links to follow whales and find out where they go.


Scientific American Frontiers
Fall 1990 to Spring 2000
Sponsored by GTE Corporation,
now a part of Verizon Communications Inc.