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Rare Right Whales Make a Splash off Massachusetts

Rare right whales returning to Cape Cod, Massachusetts cause a stir and have photographers looking for their equipment.

The extremely rare and elusive right whales are returning again to Cape Cod and the best part is their numbers have increased. Now, professional and amateur photographers alike are focusing their attention and their lens towards the ocean.

In the late 1990s, fewer than 30 of these magnificent creatures were spotted in these waters, but now almost half their remaining numbers are being sited off the coastal U.S.

Right whales are thought to be down to their last 500 individuals left on earth, but in recent years those numbers have not only stabilized, but have increased. Amy Knowlton, a researcher with the New England Aquarium’s Right Whale Research Project said, “There has been a huge pulse in numbers in the past few years. Right whales are probably scouting for food all the time. Maybe when one of them finds it, they call their friends”

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These huge, beautiful animals have been attracted to this area of the Atlantic Ocean for longer than there have been people to spot them. The area off of Cape Cod is rich in plankton and is a well known feeding ground.

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Shifting ocean currents thought to be brought about by climate change has brought back the plankton and with it the whales. Charles Mayo, director of right whale ecology at the Centre for Coastal Studies in Provincetown said “It’s rather extraordinary and somewhat mind-blowing. They’re a little like cows in a field. They go away from places that are not good and go to places that are good”

Since the New England Aquarium is tracking the whales, it goes without saying that they would have to give some of them names, but who knew that they would decide on such things as ‘Kleenex’, ‘Snotnose’, and ‘Wart’. Hopefully these creatures will survive those names as well as they did the ancient whaling ships.

All photos via Yahoo

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Rare Right Whales Make a Splash off Massachusetts