Whales (Cetaceans) include two main groups: the filter-feeding baleen whales (such as blue whales and right whales) and the toothed whales (such as beluga whales, dolphins, and sperm whales). The North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) is a baleen whale that primarily feeds on plankton called copepods. This species tends to stay close to the coast of eastern North America, migrating North in the summer and South in the winter. These whales are endangered; their population is estimated to be about 400 individuals. Strict fishing and boating regulations are in place in both Canada and the United States to help reduce the number of fatal boat strikes and fishing gear entanglements threatening the species.
The facts listed below can be found in the app and correspond with the numbers on the AR whale.
1. Filter Feeders
Baleen bristles hang down in plates filter to catch the right whale’s prey: copepods.
2. Meal time
The North Atlantic right whale can eat up to 2,500kg in a day. That’s like eating 2, 500 pizzas in a day!
Baleen plates can be up to 2.4m in length. They’re made of keratin, like fingernails or hair.
All baleen whales have two blowholes for more efficient breathing.
The position of the two blowholes creates a V-shaped spout pattern when the whale breathes at the surface.
Whales sometimes have scars from getting caught in ropes from fishing gear.
Callosities are rough spots right whales are born with and can be used for identification.
Callosities grow over time and become habitats for barnacles and whale lice.
Males can grow up to 13m in length, while females can be as big as 18m! Bigger than a school bus!
The fluke (tail) is used to propel the whale forward.
The measurements below can be found in the app when you switch to measurement mode.
Resident Orca - Species guide
For more information about the species in this activity, read the Resident orca - Species guide
Where's Whaledo - App guide
For more information on how to use the app, read the Where's Whaledo - App guide