Bank National Marine Sanctuary is one of the preferred feeding
grounds of Thalassa. Her mother, Salt
(one of the most famous whales in the ocean today), first introduced
Thalassa to Stellwagen Bank in 1985, the year of her birth. Thalassa
has been back to these same waters almost every year since.
the third of eight known calves born to Salt (See
Salt's Family Tree). The oldest calf had a book written
about him called, Crystal: The Story of a Real Baby Whale
by Karen Smyth. The next calf, Halos, was immortalized with
an exact replica, which now hangs inside the New England Aquarium.
But it was Thalassa who gave us Salt's first documented
grandcalves. Thalassa had her first calf in 1992. Just as
Salt had done for her calves over the prior seven years, Thalassa
brought her new calf, Skeeter, to Stellwagen Bank. It would
be six more years before Thalassa would have her next calf. In
1998, Etch-A-Sketch was introduced to the world. Coincidentally,
Salt had a calf that same year.
In most cases,
calves are named for an identifying mark somewhere on their bodies
(usually marks on the flukes). The calves of Salt are an
exception. All of Salt's calves have names that relate to
the word "salt" or to condiments. In Greek mythology, Thalassa's
name means "sea." The mythical Thalassa was the daughter
of Aether and Hemera. She was the mother of the nine Telchines
or fish children because they had flippers for hands.
the whale, has two distinguishing features. Her dorsal fin
is small and triangular. The most identifiable markings
on her tail are the two black lines near the center of the fluke
towards the right. These marks resemble parentheses.