Northern Right Whale

Northern Right Whale Facts
Size 42-59 ft (13-18 m)
Speed Up to 5 mph (8 km/h)
Weight 40-80 tons
Lifespan 50 years
Food Little crabs, small fish
Predators Big sharks, Orcas
Habitat Atlantic and Pacific Oceans
Order Whales
Suborder Baleen whales
Family Right whales
Scientific name Eubalaena glacialis (North Atlantic), Eubalaena japonica (North Pacific)
Characteristics Often has a “cap“ of barnacles on its head
Author AnnamarieWhat 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).

Northern Right Whale Northern Right Whale - Photo: Steve Meese/Shutterstock

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.

Northern Right Whale Northern Right Whale - Illustration: KBel/Shutterstock

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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