'Fingerprinting' a humpback L

March 12, 1992

A state veterinarian plans to use a variation of fingerprinting in an attempt to identify a 35-foot whale that has been hanging around the Chesapeake Bay Bridge as one of a group of humpbacks whales that have spent several months in southern Virginia waters.

Dr. Cindy Driscoll of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources has confirmed that the whale, last seen near sunset on Tuesday, is a humpback. She plans to send photographs of the animal to officials at the Virginia Marine Science Museum in Virginia Beach, who have been photographing at least eight humpbacks since December.

Each humpback has a distinctive black-and-white pattern on the underside of its fluke, or tail, as well as other distinctive markings.

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