Patagonia, Thursday, August 21, 2014

Detailed Information about Whales in Patagonia

Whales in Patagonia
Text: Pablo Etchevers
The southern right whale is the great protagonist of Patagonian whale watching. The point is that in the winter and when the spring comes, a large number of whales approach the Valdés Peninsula region, mainly Golfo San José and Golfo Nuevo, in the Province of Chubut.

Southern Right Whale 
From early June to the beginning of November, hundreds of right whales come near the shore to mate and breed. Some of them arrive with their offspring from several points in the cold southern seas, as indicated by their name Eubalaena Australis, whose morphology is recognized at first sight by those who take part in the whale watching tours.

  Featuring a dark, grayish and blackish body, heavy and with no dorsal fin, the right whale has certain callosities on their heads that let viewers differentiate them from one another and in turn, they represent a distinctive icon of this kind of cetaceans.
Ballena Franca Austral
  Cities like Puerto Madryn, Puerto Pirámides and Trelew welcome massive visitors from all over the world eager to see the famous whales either from the shore or on board some of the boats that provide the whale watching service. The largest concentration of specimens in the area takes place in September and October.

Whale watching has been practiced in this area for almost 40 years. The first tours were organized in the 1970s, when some ships that sailed around the peninsula noticed that the whales approached them with curiosity and, as they sensed the presence of man, they performed jumps and even swam in circles around the watercrafts.

  Today, the situation is exactly the same, but the passing of time, the appearance and institutionalization of whale watching, the scientific contribution to make a correct interpretation of their behavior and habits and, especially, the constant presence of these goddesses in the ocean have turned the southern right whale into an Argentinian and Patagonian passion.
Southern Right Whale
  The invitation has been made. Tails, jumps, backs, water jets. Everything is ready for whale watching to begin. We invite you to take part in this matchless experience, in which passion always gains the upper hand.


Ballena Franca Austral

Air and Gush?

The question children usually repeat is hardly ever answered properly by adults. How do right whales breathe? Right whales exhale the air in a "V" shape and this air may reach a height of 3 meters, which may be seen from a distance. The reason for this kind of breathing are its two outer respiratory holes or blowholes, located on the top or back of the whale's head. They are hermetically closed as the whale dives in order to prevent the water form entering their respiratory system. This has led to the mistaken belief that whales gush water. The blow helps to identify them from a long distance. This used to be a natural vulnerable feature for these animals as far as whaling is concerned.
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InterPatagonia - Information on whales in Patagonia
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