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The first historic record of a humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) from the Low Countries (Southern Bight of the North Sea)
Haelters, J.; Kerckhof, F.; Camphuysen, K.C.J. (2010). The first historic record of a humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) from the Low Countries (Southern Bight of the North Sea). Lutra 53(2): 93-100
In: Rijksmuseum voor Natuurlijke Historie Lutra (Leiden). Brill: Leiden. ISSN 0024-7634, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 218112 [ OMA ]

Keywords
    Historical account; Stranding; Megaptera novaeangliae (Borowski, 1781) [WoRMS]; ANE, Belgium, Blankenberge [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Haelters, J., more
  • Kerckhof, F., more
  • Camphuysen, K.C.J., more

Abstract
    In 1751 the corpse of a large whale was found floating at sea near Blankenberge (currently Belgium). The case was illustrated at the time by a water-colour of the whale and of an associated barnacle. In earlier publications, this whale has been regarded as a northern right whale (Eubalaena glacialis). However, morphological characteristics depicted in the original water-colour, published here for the first time, and in a copy of the original, point towards a humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae). Also, the illustrated barnacle can only represent Coronula diadema, a species typically associated with humpback whales. Thus, the case of a right whale in the southern North Sea in 1751, often cited because of the rarity of that species in this area by then, has to be deleted from the records. In this article also the size of the animal, the circumstances and the date are corrected with regard to the previous description of this record, and more information is given about the various artists to whom the water-colours can be attributed.

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