is among the most famous whales in the world today. She
was first seen in the mid 1970s here in Massachusetts Bay. Photos
were taken of her fluke and, the most striking feature, her dorsal
fin. Later that same year she was photographed on Silver
Bank off the coast of the Dominican Republic. These photos
provided information scientists needed to understand the migration
route of the North Atlantic Humpback Whale.
Salt has been seen just about every year since researchers began keeping records (around 1976). She is a very productive whale too. She has had at least ten calves since that time (see Salt's Family Tree). Some of her calves are almost as famous as she is. Her first calf, Crystal, was born in 1980. There is a book written about him called, Crystal: The Story of a
Real Baby Whale, by Karen Smyth. An exact replica of her second calf, Halos, hangs inside the New England Aquarium for all to see.
Salt broke the record for the longest known association between
humpback whales. In the summer of 1999, Salt and Cardhu
(an adult female) were seen together from June to November. This
record was previously held by Salt and Pepper
(another adult female) in 1976. These extremely long lasting
relationships, also known as associations, are uncommon among
Salt is very
easy to recognize. She has a large white marking on the
front side of her dorsal fin.
like someone sprinkled "salt" on her back. Even though her
dorsal is one of a kind, photographing her fluke is key to positive