the Right Whale Migration Study
Follow along with Anne Smrcina, Education Coordinator at Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary and her exciting reports of sightings of Northern Right Whales. Right whales journey north in their spring migration from warm waters off the shores of Georgia and the Caribbean to the northern summer feeding waters in the North Atlantic.
Along the way, students can explore why whales migrate and why they choose to go where they do. Students will learn that these gentle giants-which grow to 60 feet long and weigh up to 100 tons - survive by eating tiny ocean plankton and small fish. At the same time, they build up huge fat reserves to live off during their migration south when they will stop eating entirely.
Students can explore the ocean process of "upwelling" which creates a far-reaching food chain that whales and many other ocean creatures depend upon. In addition, students can study the conservation issues facing these endangered creatures and explore why one species, the humpback, is making a stronger recovery than the northern right whale.
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