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Humpback Whale singing

Quoddy Loop Homepage

Whales

Including
Porpoise & Dolphin

Check our local
Whalewatching Businesses

Overview
Taxonomy (scientific classification) & whale information

Other whale resources

Unusual non-whale species seen in the Quoddy Loop


Overview

Whales, like all other animals, fit into scientific categories and sub-categories, which use Latin names. The whales, including porpoise and dolphin, belong to the Phylum Chordata, Class Mamalia, and Order Cetacea. They then fit into a Suborder (of which there are two: Mysticeti—baleen whales—and Odontoceti—toothed whales), and within each Suborder, they are categorized into Family (Subfamilies akso exist, but are not shown here), and then into Genus and species. Several of these species can be seen in the Quoddy Loop area, and due to migration habits, the best time to see them here is from June through September.

Note: There are other whale Families (Monodontidae, Physeteridae, and Ziphiidae), and many other Species (blue whale, sei whale, pilot whale, white-beaked dolphin, saddleback dolphin*, common dolphin, striped dolphin, bottlenose dolphin, gray grampus, beluga*, sperm whale*, pygmy sperm whale*, northern bottlenose whale, dense-beaked whale*, True's beaked whale*, and North Sea beaked whale*) which typically are not seen in the Quoddy Loop region.

*Strays that are seen here on rare occasion,whose typical ranges are generally far offshore, as in the Gulf of Maine, the open Atlantic, or elsewhere.

Whale spouts—and whales themselves—can often be seen from shore at Head Harbour Lighthouse (East Quoddy Head Light) on Campobello Island, at West Quoddy Head Light in Lubec, and near the lighthouses on Grand Manan. A more assured way of seeing whales, though, is on a whale watching trip, several of which are offered by whale watching excursion & charter boats in different communities in the Quoddy Loop.

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Taxonomy (genetic classification) of Commonly-seen Quoddy-area Whales (and some not-so commonly seen)

Kindom: Animalia > Phylum: Chordata >

Class >

Order >

Suborder >

Family >

Genus >

Species

 

Common Names

Mammalia

Cetacea

Includes: whales, dolphins, and porpoises.

Mysticeti
(Baleen Whales)

Note: Baleen whales have a double blowhole.

Balaenopteridae
Formerly: Rorqual, meaning "furrowed whale," referring to the furrowed skin of their throats.

Includes: minke, sei, bryde's, blue, fin, and humpback whales.

Balaenoptera physalus   Finback Whale / Fin Whale

acutorostrata   Common Minke Whale

Megaptera novaeangliae   Humpback Whale

Balaenidae Eubalaena glacialis   North Atlantic Right Whale
(As of 2010, around 440 left in existence.)

Odontoceti
(Toothed Whales)

Note: Toothed whales have a single blowhole.

Phocoenidae Phocoena phocoena   Harbor Porpoise

Delphinidae Lagenorhynchus acutus   Whitesided Dolphin
Orcinus orca   Killer Whale / Orca

Physeteridae Physeter macrocephalus   Sperm Whale
(NOAA Fisheries website)
—uncommon in Quoddy;
sighted or audio-detected here
in 2010 & 2011.

Monodontidae Delphinapterus D. leucas   Beluga Whale
(NOAA Fisheries website)
—vagrant species; sighted in
Quoddy in 2002 & 2003.

The most commonly-seen whale species seen in the Quoddy Loop area are...

BALEEN WHALES
Suborder:
Mysticeti

Baleen whales have a double blowhole.

Family: Balaenopteridae

Finback Whale
Genus & Species: Balaenoptera physalus
Humpback Whale
Genus & Species: Megaptera novaeangliae
Minke Whale
Genus & Species: Balaenoptera acutorostrata

Family: Balaenidae

Right Whale
Genus & Species: Eubalaena glacialis

Top of Species Types
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FINBACK WHALE

(Balaenoptera physalus)

HUMPBACK WHALE

MINKE WHALE

('Mihn-kee)

RIGHT WHALE
Rare & Endangered

Top of Species Types
Top of Baleen Species
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TOOTHED WHALES
Suborder:
Odontoceti

Toothed whales have a single blowhole.

Family: Phocoenidae

Harbor Porpoise
Genus & Species: Phocoena phocoena

Family: Delphinidae

Whitesided Dolphin
Genus & Species:
Lagenorhynchus acutus
Killer Whale
Genus &
Species: Orcinus orca

Top of Species Types
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HARBOR PORPOISE

WHITESIDED DOLPHIN

KILLER WHALE

Top of Species Types
Top of Toothed Species
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Other Whale Resources

New England Aquarium's Right Whale Bay of Fundy Blog
Whale Identification Demo
Whale Information Network (Australia)
Whales (cooperative learning & integrated curriculum)
Whales of Newfoundland
WhaleTimes (for kids)
World Wide Web Virtual Library--Whale Watching Web
Smithsonian--Ocean Planet

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Other Unusual Species

GREAT WHITE SHARK

During the late winter of 2000, Coast Guard Canada reported witnessing an attack of a great white shark on a minke whale off the Wolf Islands in the Quoddy Loop.

BASKING SHARK

Several basking sharks have been seen in the Quoddy Loop--around Deer Island and Campobello Island--during 1999 and 2000, and on occasion have previously been reported in the area.


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