Atlantic Northern Right Whale (Eubalaena glacialis) - Wiki
Atlantic Northern Right Whale
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[Photo] North Atlantic Right Whale mother and calf. From http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/cetaceans/rightwhale/photos.htm
The North Atlantic Right Whale (Eubalaena glacialis) is a baleen whale, one of three species formerly called classified as the Right Whale belonging to the genus Eubalaena. About 300 Atlantic Northern Right Whales live in the North Atlantic Ocean.
Like other right whales, Atlantic Northern Right Whales are readily distinguished from other whales by the callosities on their heads, a broad back without a dorsal fin, and a long arching mouth that begins above the eye. The body of the whale is very dark grey or black, occasionally with some white patches on the belly. The right whale's callosities appear white, not due to skin pigmentation, but to large colonies of cyamids or whale lice.
Population and distribution
There are about 400 North Atlantic Right Whales, almost all living in the Western North Atlantic Ocean. In spring, summer and autumn, they feed in areas off the Canadian and north-east US coasts in a range stretching from New York to Nova Scotia. Particularly popular feeding areas are the Bay of Fundy and Cape Cod Bay. In winter, they head south towards Georgia and Florida to give birth.
There have been a smattering of sightings further east over the past few decades???several sightings were made close to Iceland in 2003. It is possible that these are the remains of a virtually extinct eastern Atlantic stock, but examination of old whalers records suggest that they are more likely to be strays from further west. However, a few sightings are regular between Norway, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, the Canary Islands and even Sicily and at least the Norway individuals come from the Western stock.
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