The North Atlantic right whale is easily identified by the white calluses on their head, which contrast heavily with their dark gray body. Their backs are broad, lacking a dorsal fin and sporting a mouth that begins above the eye. Like the gray whale, they are baleen whales, which means that they swim through swarms of their prey - in this case, plankton - with their mouth open, filtering anything else that may come in via the bristle-like constructions in their mouths. Right whales are most often found in the coastal waters of the northern Atlantic, especially during the breeding season.
DID YOU KNOW?
- The right whale's scientific name, Eubalaena glacialis, means "good, or true, whale of the ice."
- Right whales are slow swimmers, averaging just six miles per hour. They are known to make brief shallow dives in succession before submerging themselves underwater for up to 20 minutes at a time.
- Females usually give birth to their first calf at 10 years, and give birth every 3-5 years thereafter. Right whale calves are 13-15 feet long at birth.