Northern Right Whale Fact Sheet
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Northern right whales, one of the most endangered large whale species, are found primarily in the western North Atlantic and the northern Pacific. A few right whale characteristics:
Right whales are playful and great leapers, throwing up to two-thirds of their 40-ton bodies out of the water.
Crustaceans live on the thick, yellowish growths covering the whales' heads.
Instead of teeth, right whales have baleen: elastic, fringed plates that hang from the upper jaw.
A rare sighting of a right whale in the southeastern Bering Sea. Photo courtesy of Cynthia Tynan and
Fisheries Science Center.
Right whales feed by swimming into dense swarms of crustaceans with their mouths open, trapping the food in the fine strands of baleen.
They grow to be 45 to 50 feet long.
They can live for more than 50 years.
They give birth every three to five years, with pregnancies lasting about 12 months.
They are born about 14 feet long, weigh 2,000 pounds, and nurse for about a year.