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Southern Right Whale


Scientific Name:
Eubalaena australis
Length:
10.0 - 17.0 m (32.8 - 55.8 ft)
Weight:
40000 - 80000 kg (88100 - 176000 lbs)
Status:
good to go
Prey:
Krill

Physical characteristics

The coloration is black with a white patch near the belly. Has a large head with barnacle like growths and hair on the lower jaw and the chin. Has no dorsal fin. The flippers and flukes are wide.

Behavioral characterization

Known to be highly vocal and slow swimmers that breach and wave the flippers often.

Distribution

Southern Oceans

Population size

10,000 - 12,000; numbers are increasing by 7% per annum

Predators

N/A

Migration/Dispersal patterns

They migrate between feeding grounds in the colder Antarctic waters to warmer breeding grounds closer to the equator in winter.

Social system/Group size

Mostly seen in groups of 2 - 3; up to 12 individuals at feeding grounds.

Major threats

They are threatened by ship strikes, entanglement in fishing gear and climate change. Another problem is paratism by kelp gulls that gouge skin and blubber from the whales' backs.

Research efforts

N/A

Fun fact

Right Whales are among the slowest swimming whales.