Extra Credit Assignment

The northern right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) is the most endangered of all the large whales with fewer than 350 animals left in the North Atlantic. On 01/01/96, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FL-DEP) sighted right whale #1707, about 20 miles northeast of Jacksonville, FL. Approximately 300' of line and a set of buoys were trailing behind this animal. Each year static fishing gear entangles right whales, sometimes fatally. Therefore, plans were made to "tag" this whale with a tracking device so that it could be relocated and hopefully disentangled. Such an effort would be especially worthwhile because #1707 is known to be a 9 year old female. In an extremely diminished population, there is no more valuable animal than a female entering her reproductive years. On 1/23/96, scientists and crew of the Coast Guard cutter METOMPKIN tied on the satellite tag. At this time #1707 was dubbed METOMPKIN.

The data below represent positions (latitude/longitude) of Metompkin between January and July, 1996. Plot the daily positions on the accompanying chart. From this plot, what can you determine about Metompkin's movements? What physical and biological features seem to act as cues for this movement pattern?

 

Date, Lat., Long., Time Date, Lat., Long., Time
Jan 6 '96: 30 N., 81 W. Apr 20 '96 38.5N 40.6W 04:30 
Jan 11 '96: 29 N., 81 W. Apr 21 '96 38.3N 40.5W 19:27 
Jan 15 '96: 30 N., 81 W. Apr 23 '96 38.5N 39.9W 17:06 
Jan 17 '96: 29 N., 80 W. Apr 25 '96 38.4N 39.5W 07:00 
Jan 19 '96: 30 N., 81 W. Apr 28 '96 37.8N 39.0W 17:53 
Jan 20 '96: 31 N., 81 W. Apr 30 '96 36.9N 39.1W 17:30 
Jan 21 '96: 31 N., 80 W. May 02 '96 36.8N 39.8W 05:46 
Jan 22 '96: 31 N., 80 W. May 04 '96 36.8N 40.4W 05:21 
Jan 23 '96: 32 N., 79 W. May 05 '96 36.8N 40.9W 19:22 
Jan 24 '96: 32 N., 79 W. May 09 '96 36.8N 41.1W 11:34 
Jan 30 '96: 34 N., 75 W. May 16 '96 37.0N 41.5W 06:32 
Feb 3 '96: 36 N., 71 W. May 18 '96 37.1N 42.1W 04:31
Feb 9 '96: 37.4N 68.6W 23:59 May 19 '96 37.4N 42.6W 20:55 
Feb 10 '96: 37.4N 68.3W 5:32 May 21 '96 37.6N 43.0W 15:22 
Feb 11 '96: 37.5N 67.4W 23:11 May 23 '96 37.5N 43.0W 06:56 
Feb 13 '96 37.4N 66.6W 12:51 May 25 '96 37.5N 43.0W 04:55 
Feb 15 '96 37.5N 65.6W 6:17 May 26 '96 37.4N 42.7W 17:48 
Feb 18 '96 38.2N 63.9W 18:02 May 28 '96 36.9N 42.8W 17:26 
Feb 22 '96 38.4N 63.5W 11:14  May 30 '96 36.7N 43.5W 08:58 
Feb 23 '96 39.8N 61.8W 23:54 June 02 '96 37.6N 43.9W 22:32 
Feb 24 '96 40.0N 61.6W 04:37 June 04 '96 37.2N 43.6W 12:06 
Feb 25 '96 40.7N 60.2W 21:28  June 04 '96 37.2N 43.7W 14:32 
Feb 27 '96 40.3N 58.7W 12:43 June 04 '96 37.2N 43.7W 14:54 
Feb 29 '96 39.9N 55.8W 07:06 June 06 '96 36.8N 44.1W 06:08 
Mar 3 '96 39.6N 54.3W 17:57 June 08 '96 36.8N 44.6W 05:44 
Mar 5 '96 38.8N 53.6W 15:53  June 09 '96 37.0N 44.6W 19:58 
Mar 7 '96 38.8N 52.2W 05:49  June 11 '96 37.1N 44.8W 16:36 
Mar 8 '96 39.6N 50.4W 23:47  June 13 '96 37.4N 44.4W 10:31 
Mar 9 '96 39.6N 50.4W 03:45  June 15 '96 37.1N 44.3W 04:29 
Mar 10 '96 39.3N 49.6W 23:04  June 16 '96 36.9N 44.1W 20:44 
Mar 12 '96 37.9N 49.7W 12:38  June 18 '96 36.7N 44.2W 16:56 
Mar 14 '96 35.6N 48.2W 10:12  June 20 '96 36.7N 44.0W 06:53 
Mar 17 '96 37.1N 47.1W 20:31  June 23 '96 35.7N 44.3W 21:30 
Mar 19 '96 37.1N 46.9W 16:43  June 25 '96 35.5N 44.3W 15:42 
Mar 21 '96 36.8N 46.8W 06:36  June 27 '96 35.6N 44.3W 10:27 
Mar 23 '96 36.9N 46.9W 04:36  June 29 '96 35.7N 44.6W 03:37 
Mar 24 '96 37.3N 46.6W 21:15  June 30 '96 36.1N 45.6W 22:20 
Mar 26 '96 36.9N 46.2W 17:07  July 2 '96 36.3N 46.1W 11:55 
Mar 28 '96 36.4N 46.2W 07:03  July 2 '96 36.4N 46.1W 14:28 
Mar 30 '96 35.6N 45.3W 05:01  July 4 '96 37.4N 46.7W 06:03
Mar 31 '96 35.4N 44.4W 17:52 
Apr 02 '96 35.9N 43.3W 17:33 
Apr 04 '96 36.2N 43.3W 05:49 
Apr 06 '96 36.6N 42.8W 05:27 
Apr 07 '96 36.9N 42.0W 19:32 
Apr 07 '96 36.6N 42.0W 22:52 
Apr 11 '96 36.4N 40.9W 08:27 
Apr 16 '96 37.5N 40.0W 16:04 
Apr 18 '96 38.2N 40.1W 09:12