~ The Northern Right Whale ~

The Right whale gets its name from early whalers who considered them the "right" whale to hunt because of their bodies' high oil content and the ease in which they were able to be caught and killed. The Northern Right whale is the most endangered whale in the ocean. Their numbers have been reduced to about 300 in the North Atlantic, and only a handful, if any, in the North Pacific.

The Right whale is a large, bulky animal and is mostly black with distinctive patches called "callosities" on its head. Males average a length of 49 to 54 feet, females average a length of 51 to 60 feet. They eat copepods and other zooplankton.

Once victimized by whalers, the Right whale is today a victim of its feeding habits. In some prime Right whale areas, shipping traffic needs to slow down to avoid slow-moving Right whales as they sift copepods from the water.

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