SITKA - Two entities are launching a Web site that can help people get to know southeast Alaska humpback whales.
Researchers at the Sitka campus of the University of Alaska Southeast and Glacier Bay National Park have posted photos of nearly 2,000 humpback whales in a new online catalog.
The photographs feature the black and white pattern on the underside of flukes or tails used to identify each whale.
The markings are similar to fingerprints. Observers using binoculars or a camera with a telephoto lens can see the details of a whale's flukes and identify the whale from a distance.
Sixteen research groups contributed information on the whales spanning 30 years.
The new Web site can be found at http://www.alaskahumpbacks.org.
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