The Right Whale of the BC coastal region
The right whale is a baleen whale species, with a bow shaped lower jaw, and a head that is up to one quarter of its whole body length.
There are 3 known species of these whales: northern, southern, and north pacific. These whales calves are born blue to grey in color. The skin of adult right whales is usually dark grey or black, with white or tan patches. These patches are made up of whale lice, and are used by researchers to identify individual whales.
These whales have large flippers instead of a dorsal fin. The males can be up to 16 meters in length, and females can be a bit larger. Approximate weight for both males and females is around 60,000 kilos.
The right whale was so named by whale hunters, who declared this was the right whale to hunt, because they float when dead, and are easy to catch, being slow swimmers. During the active years of the whaling industry, these whales were hunted right to the edge of extinction.
Their diet consists of tiny crustaceans and krill. They feed by filtering prey from the water, while swimming with their mouths open.