Tagging Whales in the Antarctic Seas

Firsts
by -- February 20th, 2013

Since this is my first trip to Antarctica I have been keeping a list of firsts. Surprisingly, it has been quite difficult.  For one there are probably many things that I don’t appreciate that are firsts.  I am sure there are several bird species that I am seeing for the first time, but I really don’t have a clue that they’re special.  Furthermore, there are many firsts that I recognize, but have a hard time entering into a list. For example, on the third day I was in a small boat and a curious mom/calf pair checked out the boat for 20 minutes.  Multiple times the animals would spiral to the surface and then spy hop to check us out. This was an amazing first for me, but it’s difficult to come up with a three word entry that would describe it. Even with all of these difficulties I have a long and growing list. So for the sake of brevity I have kept the list to 21, and limited it to (mostly) animals or objects seen for the first time.

 

Peale’s Dolphin

Some Bird

Firsts:

  1. Peale’s dolphins
  2. Black-browed Albatross
  3. Magellanic Penguins
  4. Antarctic Fur Seal
  5. Crab Eater seal
  6. Small type-b killer whales
  7. Minke Whales
  8. Weddell Seal
  9. Leopard Seal
  10. Skua
  11. Chin-strap penguin
  12. Adele penguins
  13. Gentoo penguins
  14. Antarctic Krill (Euphausia subperba)
  15. Snow Petrels
  16. Antarctic Terns
  17. Giant Petrels
  18. Antarctic Shags
  19. Ice Bergs
  20. Multi-sensor suction cup tag on a minke whale
  21. Climbed a glacier

 

Me on top of a glacier

 

Chinstrap Penguin

 

A Minke Whale Breaching

This list is far from over and there are still several things that I hope to see.  The top six things that I have yet to see are as follows:

  1. Large type-B killer whales
  2. Type A killer whales
  3. Southern Right Whales
  4. Hour glass dolphin
  5. Arnoux’s Beaked whale*
  6. My first kill (killer whale or leopard seal taking out a seal or penguin)

Don’t be disturbed by number six.  I don’t really have any blood lust, but you have to admit, it would be cool to see.

 

2 Comments

  1. Dad
    Feb 20, 2013

    Matt-you look like Tony Bowers on top of mount Shasta! Looks like you are learning a few thing. Dad

  2. Zach
    Feb 21, 2013

    Your photo of ‘some bird’ is a Kelp gull so you can add that to the list. Learn your bird spp. man!

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