Jefferson, T.A., S. Leatherwood and M.A. Webber. 1993. (Ref. 1394)
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Pelagic; oceanodromous (Ref. 75906)
Climate / Range
Temperate; 90°N - 90°S, 180°W - 180°E
North Atlantic: Balaena glacialis glacialis: Davis Strait, Denmark Strait, Norwegian Sea south to Massachusetts and the Bay of Biscay, south to Florida and the Golfo de Cintra, Western Sahara, Gulf of Mexico, Sea of Okhotsk, southern Bering Sea, northern Gulf of Alaska, south to the Sea of Japan, Pacific coast of northern Honshu and the coast of central California, Taiwan, Baja California Sur, Hawaiian Islands; Balaena glacialis australis: Subantarctic zone, between 35° to 40°S and 55° to 60°S, southern Brazil to northern Argentina, Tristan da Cunha, Namibia, southern Mozambique to Cape Province, St Paul Island, Southwest and southeast Australia, Kermadec Island, central Chile (Ref. 1522). Temperate, subpolar.
Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Introductions
The northern right whale is one of the stockiest of all whales. It has a massive head that can be up to nearly one-third of its body length. The jaw line is arched and the upper jaw is very narrow in dorsal view. The flippers are broad and tend to be more fan-shaped than the pointed flippers of most other cetaceans. There is no dorsal fin or dorsal ridge on the broad back. The flukes are very wide and smoothly tapered, with a smooth trailing edge and a deep notch. Most right whales are predominantly black, but there may be large white splotches of varying extent on the belly and chin. The head is covered with callosities, areas of roughened skin to which whale lice and sometimes barnacles attach. The largest of these callosities, on the top of the rostrum, is called the bonnet. The widely separated blowholes produce a Vshaped blow up to 5 m high. Inside the mouth are 200 to 270 long thin baleen plates. Which may reach nearly 3 m in length. They are brownish grey to black in colour. The fringes of these plates are very fine, reflecting the small prey taken by this species.
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Estimation of some characteristics with mathematical models