Northern Right Whale Facts
|Size||42-59 ft (13-18 m)|
|Speed||Up to 5 mph (8 km/h)|
|Food||Little crabs, small fish|
|Predators||Big sharks, Orcas|
|Habitat||Atlantic and Pacific Oceans|
|Scientific name||Eubalaena glacialis (North Atlantic), Eubalaena japonica (North Pacific)|
|Characteristics||Often has a “cap“ of barnacles on its head|
What Species of Northern Right Whales Do Exist?
One distinguishes between the North Atlantic right whale with a population of about 300-350 animals and the North Pacific right whale with less than 1,000 animals.
No Fin, Short Pectoral Fins
Contrary to other whales, this family does not have a fin and only short pectoral fins next to the flukes. They also don’t have any neck furrows.
Appearance Of Northern Right Whales
Northern Right whales have a rather plump rump and a large head that accounts for 25 % of its body length. The torso is strongly curved. They have an arc-shaped mouth. The strongly curved upper jaw is almost hidden behind the massive underjaw. The flippers are about 6.5 ft (2 m) long, the flukes even more than 6.5 ft (2 m).
It Even Wears A Cap On Its Head
At least this is what it looks like. The Northern right whale has got distinct barnacles on its head. The largest one is called “cap”. Whale scientists are even able to distinguish between individual animals on the basis of the “cap”.
The Diet Of a Northern Right Whale
The Northern right whale consumes 528 gal (2,000 l) of plankton soup every day by gliding along slightly below the water surface with its mouth open.
Northern Right Whales Are Endangered
The Northern right whale is one of the rarest big whales. Experts assume that only a few hundred of them still exist. This is mainly due to whale hunting. Northern right whales mostly stay close to the water surface when looking for food and this makes them an easy prey.
The "Right" Wales
English whale hunters called these whales „right whales“, because they were the „right“ to hunt: slow swimmers, often lingering near the coast, providing lots of fat and oil.
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