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  • Humpback Whale Fluke | Megaptera novaeangliae | Tonga
    Me Tony Wu Photo Naturalist ars gratia scientiae Home Journal What A Fluke What A Fluke I ve been quiet online recently Have been devoting the bulk of my time to two things Conditioning for the upcoming whale season in Tonga running stairs doing agility drills and sprints hitting the gym eating heaps of healthy food and Editing photos so much more painful than 1 for upcoming talks and exhibitions Both of these pursuits require 100 concentration so I ve basically been a hermit keeping to myself listening to lots of music and podcasts while I focus on the tasks at hand Just poking my head up to say hi and to post one of my favourites from the photos I ve cleaned up recently a fluke on image of a female humpback whale with her calf frolicking below Humpback whale fluke that s easy to recognise License image Purchase print The big whale is the mother of a severely injured male calf from the 2011 season more information Both she and her son are so easy to recognise that I m hopeful I ll see one or both of them again in the future Right Back to editing Monday

    Original URL path: http://www.tonywublog.com/journal/distinctive-humpback-whale-fluke-tonga (2016-04-26)
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  • Fine Art Prints | Lionfish, Squirrelfish | Papua New Guinea
    is that I managed to leave an absolutely shocking number of things not quite yet done One box I checked off was getting a couple of images prepared and available for print sales The first is of a lionfish Pterois volitans on the prowl at Suzie s Bommie in Port Moresby Papua New Guinea Lionfish on the Prowl Suzie s Bommie Papua New Guinea I really like this image because a the scene depicted is like a marine life tapestry comprising multiple layers of interwoven biological complexity and b this is a very accessible reef right outside Port Moresby meaning anyone can dive there I was staying at Loloata Island Resort when I took this photo A very understanding man in South Africa who attended a presentation I made in Port Moresby in May 2011 waited until quite recently for me to prepare this photo and send him a high quality fine art print Thank you for your patience Philip The second is another image from PNG this one of a sabre squirrelfish Sargocentron spiniferum peeking out from beneath a magnificent coral formation at one of my favourite dive sites Carl s Ultimate reef in the Eastern Fields accessible on liveaboard trips with MV Golden Dawn Sabre Squirrelfish and Vibrant Coral Reef Carl s Ultimate Eastern Fields Papua New Guinea This one is another personal favourite because a just look at the density of life on that coral sponge outcropping and b it took that brilliant red fish about 90 minutes to work up the confidence to come out from under the rocks to say hello I m making both images available as open edition prints which you can order from this page if you feel so inclined Each image will be custom printed upon receiving an order with my

    Original URL path: http://www.tonywublog.com/journal/new-fine-art-prints-lionfish-and-squirrelfish-tony-wu (2016-04-26)
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  • Humpback Whale Fine Art Prints for Sale
    the parlance of we refined visual artists I wasn t able to type that with a straight face that I had made during the process of preparing my initial selection of limited edition prints Four of eight humpback whales in a heat run The purpose of printing proofs was to do a test run to ensure that colour correction cropping choice of paper and print process etc all produced the quality I wanted I m a stickler for quality control read pain in the behind Fortunately everything went according to plan and the proofs were perfect I must ve stashed them into one of my deal with later piles as distinguished from my deal with much later and pretend I might deal with some day piles and forgotten about them as discovering the prints a few days ago took me somewhat by surprise Sort of like finding loose change between sofa cushions I was about to toss them out when I thought Hmmm These could make really nice holiday gifts So if you d like one of these proof prints perhaps as a year end gift for someone I m offering them for sale at US 150 shipping Here are the three that I have Frisky Foursome sold Courtship Bliss sold Singer Addendum I found one more Mary Go Round sold Each test print is 8 5 x 11 inches with the image centered and some white border around the sides and they are all printed on the same high quality Fuji Crystal Archive paper I use for full size prints with the same photographic print process i e not inkjet For clarity these will not be part of the limited print runs for the relevant images I will sign each proof and write test print on the back of

    Original URL path: http://www.tonywublog.com/journal/a-few-humpback-whale-prints-for-sale (2016-04-26)
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  • Bryde's Whale Defecation | Missing Mega Poop
    on land and in the water has resulted in decreased circulation of nutrients Makes sense if you think about it Big animals consume a lot They therefore poop a lot Which cycles nutrients through different locations environments and times Remove reduce populations of big animals as we have done so effectively and the scale and efficiency of that process diminishes Not good for the planet Here s a photo of a Bryde s whale pooping to help you envision the process Bryde s whale defecating License image The paper titled Global nutrient transport in a world of giants appeared recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences If you re not in the mood to read a science paper here s an explanation written in plain English with a pretty graphic too As you might imagine the grown up people obsessed with big animal poop in a totally non weird manner community is relatively small so it might not come as a surprise that I ve cooperated with one of the paper s authors before Joe Roman and his colleagues wrote about the importance of whale poop in 2014 and incorporated one of my photos in the paper

    Original URL path: http://www.tonywublog.com/journal/missing-mega-poop-research-paper (2016-04-26)
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  • First Humpback Whale Ever Documented in Sri Lanka
    s just seen Rudolph wink while flying past And within a few seconds the entire whale became visible We came together cruising slowly past each other one species eyeing the other both pondering exactly the same thing What in the world are you doing here The mystery humpback whale playing and showing off License image One thing led to another and the whale ended up inviting us in for a bit of recreational time Yes he I had determined it was a young male by then about 8 9m in length surfaced a few metres away from our boat slapped his fluke and waited patiently for us to get in At which point he swirled and swished around making sure to slow down from time to time to allow gangly humans to keep pace swinging by now and then to check up on us Exactly how long this went on I don t recall but it was long enough for us to be thoroughly exhausted panting and heaving for every breath The encounter itself was incredible but what makes it all the more special is that my rational brain s initial reaction was correct There are no known humpback whale populations in the area and there really isn t any practical reason for a humpback to be where this one was So what was this whale doing here By itself nonetheless Where was it heading And why I contacted Asha who confirmed that the sighting and encounter were unique She helped me check the scientific record for previous humpback whale sightings in the area Her response There was a stranding in 1981 and then a sighting in 1856 or so off Colombo and potentially another sighting in the south which I m trying to confirm Asha then contacted researchers in Oman who are working with the small population of non migratory humpback whales in the Arabian Sea The people over there have an extensive database of fluke photos The Arabian Sea humpback population is the group closest to where this encounter took place so perhaps we thought this was an adventurous young man that wandered off for a look around the neighborhood so to speak We were all keen to see whether there was a match but as it turned out there wasn t Sigh A negative outcome is often as interesting as a positive one however In this instance the lack of a match between the whale I encountered and the records from Oman means that where this whale was from how it got there where it was going and why it was where it was all remain a mystery Maybe we ll see more humpbacks in the area in the future or maybe not Perhaps we ll solve the mystery or perhaps it ll just be one of the many perplexing things about life on earth we never figure out In either case one thing this experience highlighted for me is the importance of working together None of

    Original URL path: http://www.tonywublog.com/journal/first-ever-record-of-humpback-whale-in-sri-lanka (2016-04-26)
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  • Prolific Humpback Whale Female with 7th calf in Vava'u
    Mommy Reloaded Humpback Whale Super Mommy Reloaded It was only a couple of weeks ago that I received confirmation from Darren Rice of the female humpback whale pictured below with a 7th calf in Tonga Darren and his son JJ captured video of this whale and her baby in the Kingdom s Ha apai island group see previous blog post in August this year This is super mommy in Vava u after being seen in Ha apai Well now with the help of Ma ata at Mounu Island Resort I have documentation of super mommy male calf in Vava u this season as well Ma ata spotted mother and calf on 8 October about a mile west of the Hunga entrance to the inner waterways of the Vava u island group Everyone logically assumes that humpback whales travel among the islands but it s still exciting and useful to have solid photo video proof This is the first time that I ve been able document a mother calf pair in both island groups about 130km apart thanks to the help of Darren JJ and Ma ata Here is an updated PDF file with a summary of this female humpback with

    Original URL path: http://www.tonywublog.com/journal/humpback-whale-female-seven-calves-tonga (2016-04-26)
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  • Humpback Whale with Seven Calves | Tonga 1998 - 2014
    1998 and 2014 for this female humpback whale This is the whale that I dubbed Super Mommy in June this year when I documented her with a 5th calf in Tonga over a period of 11 years 2002 to 2012 see blog post Shortly thereafter in July Claudia Jocher sent me two photographs of this same female placing her back to 1998 with a calf in 1999 That meant documentation of this female humpback whale with six calves over a period of 15 years 1998 to 2012 see blog post And now my jaw dropped when I saw this very same female glide across my computer screen while I was viewing a nice video of humpbacks created by Darren Rice and posted on Vimeo recently which I came across via a post by Eric Cheng Darren s 9 year old son JJ also took video of the same whale posted on Youtube Darren owns Matafonua Lodge in Ha apai which makes this the first confirmed sighting I have for Super Mommy in Tonga s middle island group All the other sightings I have are from Vava u Darren told me that they had encounters with this humpback and her male calf on two days this season first on 5 August twice that day and once again on 20 August Click this link to view a summary PDF file of all eight sightings of this female with photo and video documentation of every sighting gathered from a wide variety of sources Darren s and JJ s videos in 2014 photos taken by Kirsty Bowe and me in 2012 photos taken by Nonie Silver and Karen Stone in 2009 photos taken by me in 2008 photos taken by me in 2005 BBC stock footage taken in 2002 that Michele Hall helped me

    Original URL path: http://www.tonywublog.com/journal/female-humpback-whale-documented-with-seven-different-calves-tonga (2016-04-26)
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  • Humpback Whales in Tonga 2014 | Part 7
    s tough to state an exact date but I first felt the shift on 12 September and I was pretty certain I wasn t imagining things by 15 September For instance while my first group of friends were with me in the early part of the season I ID ed eight calves had six repeat encounters with calves I had previously ID ed and had five calves I couldn t ID While my last group of friends who visited this season were with me I ID ed four calves had one repeat encounter and came across 12 calves I couldn t ID Both groups were on the water for the same amount of time The next graph complements the one above It plots the changes in my calf boat day ratio and calf sighting ratio over time Humpback whale calf ratios through the 2014 calving season As you can see if I had only taken a sample of a week or two early in the season my calves boat day ratio would have been higher than I ended up with Conversely if I had only been present during the latter part of the season my data would not have captured the high whale density activity and interactiveness in the earlier part of the season This underscores the importance of having a substantial sample size and by reading between the graph lines you can see evidence of what I stated above that I experienced many encounters with receptive mother calf pairs early in the season hence the relatively high calves boat day ratio Over time the two lines diverge The increasing orange line which shows the total of ID ed not ID ed calves increases The blue line which shows calf IDs drops This supports my statement that as the season progessed there was a decline in encounters with friendly mother calf pairs due to movement to outer waters that required more travel search time and generally lower receptiveness to encounters while the lack of significant decline in the orange line shows that the concentration of mother calf pairs remained high throughout the season It just became more difficult to establish in water photo IDs as time went by Chilled out trio resting humpback whale female with calf and escort For what it s worth I ve received reports that the whales have come back and have become somewhat more interactive again since I left the area There was in fact a heat run yesterday Of the calves for which I was able to determine gender males outnumbered females this season Gender ratio of humpback whale calves ID ed Meki one of the captains I work with has been rooting for the boys to win for several seasons now He finally got his wish Female calf IDs dominated the first part of the season the males came on strong at the end I m not sure if there s any value in tracking the gender breakdown but it s fun to

    Original URL path: http://www.tonywublog.com/journal/humpback-whales-in-tonga-2014-part-7 (2016-04-26)
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