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Nile  HWC# 0688

Nile

Nile is a very large, very beautiful female whale just coming into the prime of her life.  Her friendly, curious personality makes her one of the favorites among whale watchers.  She has been seen around the feeding grounds here in New England every year since her birth in 1987.  

 Nile was born in the warm waters of the Caribbean, probably at Mars's (Nile's mother) favorite birthing place (most likely a quiet, secluded area off the coast of Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic).  There she grew rapidly by drinking mother's fat-rich milk.  In the summer of 1987 everyone marvelled at Mars's new calf.  Nile learned everything she needed to survive in that one summer.  Later that winter she would separate from her mother and explore her world, perhaps in the company of other young whales.  

Nile did very well for herself through the years. However, if you look closely at the base of her tail, you will notice white scars.  At some point in her life she became entangled in some fishing gear.  Luckily, she survived this encounter.  At eleven years of age, in 1998, Nile showed off her beautiful new baby girl, a calf later named Amazon.  This is the first known grandcalf of Mars (See Mars's Family Tree). In 2000, she showed up with another calf, which was called Aswan (based on the markings that can be compared to a dam and a link to Nile's name).

 Nile is not the only member of the Mars family who survived an entanglement.  In the summer of 1998 Putter, Nile's younger half-brother, was successfully disentangled by a team from the Center for Coastal Studies.  Amazon too became entangled sometime after she left her mom.  Luck must run in the family because she survived as well.

 It is easy to see how Nile got her name.  If you look at the upper left fluke you can see what looks like a black upside down "Nile River" flowing through a small patch of white.  She also has a fairly unique dorsal fin.  It is a very hooked shape with a white, crescent moon-shaped patch on the right side, just below the fin.

 

Mars's Family Tree

Mars- F ----
fs: 1979

Felis- M
yob: 1982

Seal- M
yob: 1984

Excalibur- F
1985

Nile- F ---
yob: 1987

Mesopotamia
yob: 1990

Putter- M
yob: 1993

Valentine
yob: 1997

Amazon- F
yob: 1998

Aswan
yob: 2000

 

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