The calf's callosity pattern on its head, cornified skin that forms unique patterns on the head of all right whales, was photographed and the calf can be followed for the rest of its life using these unique patterns. Whale lice do live on the callosities giving them a more colourful appearance but the callosities themselves do not greatly change over time, other than the head growing in size. Calves also loose the concave shape to their head and it becomes convex. Right whale calves often have more orange whale lice than adults. This species of whale lice tend to be more prevalent on slow moving calves and adults that are compromised by injury or illness. Whale lice eat the constantly sloughing skin on right whales. Calves are growing quickly and probably slough more skin; the skin of sick animals often turns grey and sloughs in large sheets, promoting the growth of whale lice.
|Drippy-nose's 5th calf born in 2011, left side of head|
|Drippy-nose's 5th calf born in 2011, right side of head|
|Drippy-nose's callosity pattern. The white mark in the coaming callosity |
(immediately before the blowholes is distinctive).
|White scarring on Drippy-nose's tail from an entanglement in fishing gear.|