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Coral  #0768

Coral

Coral is a whale, who has often been spotted around these parts since his birth in 1988.  He also has quite the family history.  We will start with his mother, Silver.  She was first sighted in 1979.  She was named after Long John Silver, the mischievous pirate in the classic book Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, due to the fact that she was missing part of an appendage.  In her case, it was her right fluke lost to an entanglement or ship strike.  Silver had five known calves (See Silver's Family Tree) before her untimely death in 1991 due to an entanglement.

Coral's eldest sibling was Beltane.  She was born in 1980.  She surprised researchers five years later when in 1985 she returned with a calf.  This means she conceived at the age of four.  Only a handful of whales are known to have given birth at such a young age.  With the birth of this calf, later named Cat Eyes, Silver was the first known grandmother ever documented.  Sadly, Beltane died in the fall of 1987.  That year there was a crash in the sand lance population.  The whales that hung around late in the season began to feed on mackerel.  The mackerel had been feeding on a red tide organism that in turn killed the whales.  At least 14 humpback whales died that year.  Countless others may have perished as well but never washed ashore.

Another of Coral's siblings was Aster, a young female that died the same year she was born.

One more note to the family: Cat Eyes was only seen for two years, his birth year and the year of his mother's death.  Although there have been no sightings, there is still the possibility he has found other feeding grounds.

Silver's sons have faired better than her daughters.  Coral and his two brothers, Peninsula and Chablis, have been seen in recent years.  It is now up to these three to carry on Silver's line.

 As with many whales, Coral has a few distinguishing marks.  He has a round white scar behind his blowhole, probably caused by a small boat or an entanglement.  He also has a beautiful all white fluke with orca teeth rack marks along the trailing edge.

 

Silver's Family Tree

Silver- F ---
fs: 1979
yod: 1991

Beltane- F ----
yob: 1980
yod: 1987

Aster- F
yob: 1983
yod: 1983

Peninsula- M
yob: 1985

Coral- M
yob: 1988

Chablis- M
yob: 1990

Cat Eyes- M
yob: 1985

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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