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The Monarch Butterfly's Mulit-generational Migration and the Bicycling Biologist Sara Dykman

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Interview with Whale Biologist Christine Gabriele and the Whale with Three Names

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The Whale with Three Names Chris Gabriele, a whale biologist at Glacier Bay National Park (NP) in Alaska, never expected to be holding a rope attached to a 35 ton humpback whale. A call to park headquarters had come in at 3:00pm—a dead whale was floating in the bay. It didn’t take long to identify the whale as Snow, a female, biologists had tracked since 1975.  The nickname Snow came from the spray of white dots on her flukes. Fluke markings are unique to each whale just as your fingerprints are unique to you . “Snow’s was one of the earliest recorded flukes in the Whale Tail Catalog,” says Chris, “her second official name was Whale #68.”


No one at headquarters could believe Snow was dead. “Snow was a healthy adult,” says Chris. “We agreed a necropsy should be performed to determine the cause of her death.”  Three boats dragged the 45.5ft whale ashore. Dr. Gulland, from the Marine Mammal Center in California, and a six-person team did the examination. Snow’s skull had been fractured b…