The shore saw a gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) in Namibia between May and July 2013. This incident was strange as these species were rarely spotted in the Atlantic Ocean. They are usually found in the northern hemisphere. A report depicts that these animals have travelled a minimum of 20,000 kilometres, approximately 12,427.4 miles. In short, gray whale have sets a world record by traveling halfway around the planet while setting a new record for migration among mammals, except for humans.
Rus Hoelzel and his colleagues in the UK at Durham University used the tissue samples obtained from the whale’s skin and examined the DNA of the whale to find its origin. Comparing the analysis report with the other populations of whales, it was found that this whale was a male. It seemingly was born to the jeopardized western population of the North Pacific and was located along the shore of eastern Asia. This implies that this whale has travelled a minimum of 20,000 kilometres to reach the southern Atlantic. Though, the earth’s circumference is a little more than 40,000 kilometres.
Hoelzel says, “This is the record really for an in-water migration. Suppose you’re assuming that this individual started its life in the northwest Pacific and it found its way to Namibia. That’s as far as any vertebrate has ever gone in the water, as far as we know. The land-dwelling mammals come considerably in action. A grey wolf makes a record of roaming for more than 7000 kilometres in just one year.
Study about the Whales
According to the statement of Oregon State University, the whale naming Varvara moved approximately 22,500 kilometres, around 14,000 miles. The scientists of the University assisted in managing a study on whale tracking. Varvara (Russian of Barbara) moved away from her initial feeding territory, Russia’s Sakhalin Island. It swam across the Pacific Ocean to the West Coast of the US to Baja, Mexico. The journey of Varvara exceeded the records listed on the Guinness Worlds Records website. The previous history was made by a humpback whale, which swam around 10,190 miles between the warm breeding waters around the equator and the Arctic and Antarctic regions in the colder food-rich water. However, these records are helpful, but the lead author of the research, Bruce Mate, thinks that these long journeys say a lot more about the whale and not only their strength to swim.
Records of Varvara
Varvara hit the three major breeding regions for eastern gray whales during her journey of 14,000 miles. Bruce Mate, also a director at Oregon State University of the Marine Mammal Institute, was surprised by this journey of Varvara. Mate said it is much more robust proof that going to Mexico might mean that she is from Mexico. It was unbelievable that Varvara was an endangered western whale.
Yet, now looking at the ability and the possibility of the whales to navigate in the open water over such a vast distance is exciting. That might mean that some of the western grays are eastern grays in reality. Though it was believed that only about 150 western gray whales are existing, now these numbers might be lesser. Mate said that the studies in the past show the genetic difference designated between the species. But it is now a suggestion to take a closer look at it.
A research team of Sea Search Research and Durham University, and Conversation NPC discovered a gray whale spotted at the shore of Namibia had travelled the earth around halfway to reach there. However, this whale is the only gray whale that swam the longest distance while migrating for more than 16,700 miles and setting the species’ record. Instead migrating is not only an exceptional characteristic thing about this mammal. There is more to see!
Distance record in water-migration
A male gray whale, approximately 40 feet long, has made a record. A research paper was published in the Royal society’s biology letters. According to that, the scientists of Conservation NPC and Sea Search Research and Durham University discovered a substantial gray whale on the shore of Namibia. It is assumed that the whale traveled about halfway around the earth. This species belongs to the northern Pacific region. Although, some fishermen found this one initially in Walvis Bay in 2003. The scientists and oceanographers noticed the incident, which made the study begin. Importantly, it was the first time they remarked it so far away from home.
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Study shows the gray whales are rare to come into sight.
A scientists’ team got a tissue sample of the whale. Simon H and Tess Gridley took the additional examination from the Conservation NPC and Sea Search Research. Therefore, teamed up with an evolutionary biologist, Fatih Sarigol, and A. Rus Hoelzel, a biologist from Durham University. The entire group completed a DNA analysis of the genes of the gray whale. Furthermore, they matched it with some other samples stored in the US’s National Center for Biotechnology Information. The research gave the surprising revelation that the gray whale spotted on the Namibian coast was related directly to the endangered western gray whales in the Northern Pacific Ocean. A study shows that only 200 western gray whales are present worldwide.