Species E. australis, E. glacialis, E. japonica
Right Whale Basics
Three types of enormous baleen whales are known as right whales or black whales. Right whale is a massive creatures may live for more than 70 years and grow to be about 70 feet long. Only the blue whale and the bowhead whale are larger in terms of pure body mass.
Right Whale Description
The word “right whale” applies to three distinct whale species that are distinguished chiefly by their geographic ranges. Their skin has a dark grey or charcoal colour, sometimes seeming almost black, hence they are also known as the black whale. It generally has a broad back, a dorsal fin, and sometimes white patches on its belly.
The right whale is among the largest living whale species, with individuals weighing approximately 300,000 pounds and spanning 35–60 feet in length. The North Pacific species (Eubalanea japonica) is the biggest of the three species of right whales. Their girth accounts for more than 60 percent of their total length, indicating that their bodies are highly robust. Additionally, they possess huge tail flukes and callosities, which are rough skin patches seen mostly on their heads.
Distribution and Range
The three kinds of right whales are distinguished by their ranges. The North Atlantic right whale (E. glacialis) is found in the icy seas of the Atlantic Ocean’s far north. The majority of the population lives in the western part of the country, where they spend most of their time feeding around the beaches of eastern Canada and the northeastern United States. They will move south to Georgia and Florida to give birth and breastfeed throughout the winter months.
There are two populations of the North Pacific right whale (E. japonicus). There is a very tiny population of around 30 individuals left in the eastern North Pacific and the Bering Sea. In the Sea of Okhotsk, near Russia, there is also a population of roughly 200 people. Although it is unknown or undocumented, this species most certainly completes a seasonal migration. With an anticipated extinction date of 200 years, it remains probably the most threatened of the right whale species.
The Southern right whale (E. australis) has the greatest range among the three species, having colonies found throughout the southern hemisphere. It relocates across the far seas close to Antarctica, where it eats in the summer, as well as northern waters, where it nests and raises its offspring throughout the winter. By this time, southern right whales could be observed off the coasts of a number of countries in the southern hemisphere, such as the majority of South America, New Zealand, Australia, Mozambique, and South Africa.
Diet and Predators
Right whales migrate during the summer’s fruitful arctic waters and the winter’s tropical areas, while they deliver birth and breastfeed their children. They were zooplankton-eating baleen whales, which are microscopic creatures. Copepods, krill, and pteropods are examples of this. Long plate-like structures in the mouths of right whales As they swim, baleen whales and other baleen whales extract their nourishment through the water. With their jaws open, they will travel through vast concentrations of zooplankton. They are gathering anything they can, even water. Afterwards, it would close its mouth and use its tongue to force the water out, leaving their food on the baleen plates.
Because of its vast size, the adult right whale confronts few natural predators. Orcas may sometimes attack huge whales in groups, preying on calves in particular. The right whale used to be found in all the world’s waters, but towards the latter part of the nineteenth century, whaling ships had practically wiped it out.
Right whales are usually seen alone. They do, however, sometimes appear in pairs or small numbers. Their history is mostly unknown, although they are said to live for roughly 90 years and achieve sexual maturity between the ages of 5 and 15.
Blue whales have a gestation period of 10–12 months. Mothers have one calf for up to seven months, which they nurse. Although the calf will most probably be nursed when travelling to their summer grazing regions, it may remain with its mother for several years till breeding age. The Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez) is frequently visited by blue whales, including their calves, suggesting that it is a significant breeding and calving area for populations within this part of the world.
Since the International Whaling Commission stopped whale killing, the southern right whale has rebounded reasonably successfully, with around 15,000 individuals. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species still lists the species as endangered because populations are still considerably decreased from their initial levels.
Only a few dozens of North Pacific right whales and hundreds of North Atlantic right whales remain, indicating that the two northern species have not rebounded as well. Due to their slow reproductive rate and several dangers from humans and environmental change, these species are designated as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. They, like various species and groups of right whales, are currently on the brink of extinction.
Fun Facts about the Right Whale!
Because of its vast quantity of fat and baleen, the right whale has been given the name “the right whale.” There are, however, much more fascinating aspects to learn about than its near-extinction hunts and having its own world record.
More Than a Little Teste
Although not as large as the blue whale, the right whale has the potential to establish a new benchmark for size. The penis of a male right whale may grow to be nearly 9 feet in length, with 2.5-foot-diameter testes. These testes are the largest of any animal on the globe, weighing more than 1,150 pounds. Although the larger blue whale is the world’s largest animal, the right whale’s testicles are ten times the size of the blue whale’s.
Regarding relative size, they too exceed expectations. In reality, they are six times larger than one would expect, depending on body mass only. The right whale’s testicles account for around 1 percent of its total body mass. These comparably and totally huge testicles indicate that sperm rivalry is a major factor in right whale mating, which may justify the species’ promiscuity.
Built of Blubber
The right whale is a massive and strong creature that grows to be almost as large as bowhead whales and much larger than other species found in deep waters. Compared to other whale species, they have a considerable quantity of blubber, accounting for 40% of their total mass. However, since their blubber may not be as thick as that of other species, they are very buoyant, which is essential for marine creatures that dive. Following deep dives, those with less blubber and less energy reserves will need additional power to come back to the surface.
Callosities are a type of unusually rough skin patch on the heads of all species of right whales. Three amphipod crustacean species ultimately colonize these protrusions of keratinized, robust epidermis (Cyamis ovalis, Cyamis gracilis, and Cyamis erraticus). As a consequence of these amphipods, the callosities become orange or white. These amphipods, sometimes described as whale lice or cyamids, graze on the skin of whales and move among individuals by direct contact.
Researchers have long used the patterns formed by these natural events as a useful tool for distinguishing one person from another. In reality, a competitive endeavour in 2016 led to the creation of a technique that uses face recognition software to uniquely identify right whales with an accuracy of roughly 87 percent based on their callosities.