Facts about Right Whales, "Scientific name for Right Whale Eubalaena glacialis". Right Whales are species of baleen whales from the genus Eubalena and Balaenidae family. There are three species namely; North Atlantic Right whales, Southern Right Whales and North Pacific Right Whales. The scientific name for whale "Cetacea"- An order of marine mammals, including the whales). Fear of Whales is Cetaphobia.
The Right Whales most distinguishing feature that can make you differentiate them from other whales is there rough patches of skin on their heads which appear white due to attacks by whale lice. But generally Right Whales have rotund bodies with arching rostrums, black or dark gray skin and V-shaped blowholes.
Right whales are around 50 to 60 feet (15.2 to 18.3 meters) in length and 70 tons (63.5 metric tonnes) in weight when they are fully grown. They are considered to be smaller than the blues but slightly larger than the humpbacks.
The Right Whales are known to migrate from one place to another in search of food or give birth. This is a common characteristic in the three species.
Right Whales feed on copepods that are considered to take their largest portion of their meal. But krill and pteropods are also their delicacy. They forage these foods on the surface, under water and the ocean bottom.
The right whales that are found on Northern hemisphere don’t like open waters. Instead they prefer peninsulas that offer great shelter and their preferred food. The Right Whales that are found on the Southern hemisphere feed far offshore in summer. But during winter season they prefer shore waters.
Courtship is controlled by the strongest males. They gather in big groups of around 20 males to compete for a single female. Sperm competition is visible because right whales are considered to have the largest testes that weigh around (525 kg). There are no other whales known to have such big testes including the blue whales that are known to be among the biggest whales.
The Right Whales female being courted lies on its belly and the males work to keep it under water or stroke her with their flippers. The female may or may not get pregnant at once and so she can attract more female.
Gestation period last for around a year. Calves are born at one short ton in weight and around (6 m) in length. Weaning is done after eight months to one year and in the first year, they grow very first. They double their length but not much is known about their second year of growth. Right Whales reach sexual maturity between the ages of 8 to 10 years and females breed in 3 – 4 years.
Right whales are slow swimmers and are observed to be very docile unlike other whales. Their highest swimming speed is around (9 km/h). Their body’s weight contains 40 percent of bubblers that make them to be highly targeted by whalers. Their bubblers are used to make oil. When the Right Whales die their bodies float and this has made them an endangered species.
The Right Whales lifespan is not well known but according to some shallow observations that were done in the nineteenth century they are believed to live up to 70 years. An observation was made to a female who was found in north hemisphere and followed for several years later. At first she was found with a small calf and found years later with a would on her head.