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 North Atlantic Right Whale (Eubalaena glacialis)




North Atlantic Right Whale | Eubalaena glacialis photo
North Atlantic Right Whale off Grand Manan, Gulf of Maine.

Photograph by Gale McCullough. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

North Atlantic Right Whale | Eubalaena glacialis photo
North Atlantic Right Whale off Grand Manan, Gulf of Maine.

Photograph by Gale McCullough. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

North Atlantic Right Whale | Eubalaena glacialis photo
Atlantic Northern Right Whale mother and calf.

Photograph by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission/NOAA. License: Public Domain.  (view image details)

NORTH ATLANTIC RIGHT WHALE FACTS

Description
The North Atlantic Right Whale is dark colored with a large rotund body and no dorsal fin. It has prominent callosities on the rostrum (snout), near blowholes, near eyes, and on the chin and lower lip. Callosities are raised rough patches of skin that appear white or gray due to infestation by whale lice. The flippers are very broad and short. Right Whales have enormous baleen plates that can be up to 5m long. There are about 300 plates on each side of the mouth. The jaws are extremely arched in order to fit these long baleen plates. The head is very large making up about one-third of the total body length.

Size
length : up to 17m. Weight: 55,000kg - 95,000 kg.

Environment
Right whales move from sub polar regions to lower latitudes in winter. They are often found near bays and peninsulas and in shallow, coastal waters

Food
Right whales are filter feeders. They skim near the surface of the water feeding on small crustaceans such as copepods, krill, and euphausiids. They swim near the surface with their mouth open taking in water and crustaceans. The water is filtered through the baleen plates trapping the food.

Breeding
Females give birth to a single calf every 3- 4 years. The gestation period is about 12 months. The calf is about 4.5m - 6m long at birth.

Range
temperate and sub polar waters of the north Atlantic and north Pacific oceans. In the Northwest Atlantic, they are found from Iceland to the Gulf of Mexico. They calf off the coasts of Florida and Georgia in winter.

Conservation Status
The conservation status in the 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals is "endangered".

Classification
Class:Mammalia
Order:Cetacea
Family:Balaenidae
Genus:Eubalaena
Species:glacialis
Common Name:North Atlantic Right Whale


Relatives in same Genus
  North Pacific Right Whale (E. japonica)