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Tornado  # 0741

Tornado

As if being beaconed, Fringe left the bountiful waters of Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary sometime in the fall of 1987.  It was time to make the annual month-long journey down to the warm waters of the Caribbean to give birth to her fourth known calf, Tornado.  The beautiful, crystal clear waters off of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the Dominican Republic are the perfect place for humpbacks to give birth to their 13+ft calves.  Tornado, as well as all other humpback calves, was born with a thin insulating blubber layer.  If she were to be born in the colder waters of the feeding grounds, she could possibly suffer from hypothermia. Also, her mother instinctively seeks calm, shallow waters when giving birth.  The rough, cold, wintery weather of New England probably is not the best place to bring a calf into this world.

Tornado's mother is one of the most productive females known today (See Fringe's Family Tree).  She has had at least nine calves and is still going strong.  Tornado has some pretty big flukes to fill. Tornado made Fringe a first time grandmother in 1995 with the birth of her first calf, Parallel.  She had her second calf, Mas-Menos, in 1998 and her third, Beanie, in 2000.

Tornado is often seen on the rich feeding grounds of Stellwagen Bank throughout the summer, sometimes in the same general vicinity as her mother or half-siblings.

Tornado is not the easiest whale to identify.  Her flukes are mostly black with a little white on the right.  You may also notice a small black line within this white blotch, similar in shape to a "tornado" (hence her name).

 

 

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