Whale Sightings

On Tuesday several rorqual whales were sighted just off the Costa Tropical in front of Motril, which is very unusual.

Rorquals are the largest group of baleen whales, comprising the family that include the largest known animal that has ever lived; the blue whale, which can reach 180 tonnes and the fin whale, which reaches 120 tonnes and even the smallest of the group, the northern minke whale, reaches 9 tonnes.

The three rorqual whales, whose name comes from Old Norse via French, passed along the coast some 12 nautical miles out in front of Motril Port.

A team from the Observatorio del Mar came across them, as they are studying their presence as part of their Conservación, Información y Estudio sobre Cetáceos programme along the coast.

They pointed out although that this kind of whale does work their way towards the Gibraltar Straits, they normaly do it much further out because of the magnitude of human presence in the summer; the leisure craft and especially jet skis, which they try to avoid. For this reason it is more likely to see them closer in during the autumn and winter.

Staying with them the marine biologists saw that these finback whale or common rorqual were surfacing as they travelled every eight minutes, as regular as clock work. The largest of this kind of whale measures 26 metres in length and weighs between 77 and 81 tonnes. In fact, after the blue whale, it is the largest living creature on earth.

(News: Motril, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)

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