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photos of  southern right whales

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lp6288. Southern Right Whale (Eubalaena australis), underwater. Patagonia, Argentina, Atlantic Ocean.
Southern Right Whale underwater photographs from Patagonia Argentina
lp6327. Southern Right Whale, tail flukes at sunset. Golfo Nuevo, Valdez Peninsula, Patagonia, Argentina, South America, Atlantic Ocean
high res picture of tail flukes of Right Whale, available for licensing
lp7212. Southern Right Whale spyhopping, note barnacle-like growths called "callosities" on snout
Southern Right Whale (Eubalaena australis). Note callosities on snout
lp6318. Southern Right Whale, breaching. Surprisingly acrobatic for its size
Southern Right Whale breaching marine stock image

more photos


   vitals                                                              bio
Southern Right Whale
scientific name Eubalaena australis
range southern oceans, cold temperate and subpolar
Patagonia Argentina, South Africa, South Australia
habitat coastal
size to 55 feet (17m), 80 tons
diet krill, copepods
trivia patches of roughened skin on whale's head- called callosities- used by scientists to identify individual whales; no dorsal fin; live to perhaps 70 years old
Man has not always treated the right whale with the awe and reverence prevalent among today’s whale watchers. Our past relationship with this gentle, trusting animal was one of cruelty, stupidity, and blood, fueled by greed. Right whales originally earned their name from the whalers, as they were the "right" whales to hunt: easy to approach, providing large quantities of oil, meat, and whalebone, and best of all, they conveniently floated when dead. Their numbers around the world were slashed to the brink of extinction in the 1800s. Currently protected throughout its range, numbers are steadily increasing, with a world-wide estimate of 5000 or more.
     The Southern Right Whale, Eubalaena australis, has a critically endangered cousin in northern seas, E. glacialis. Like other baleen whales, rights specialize in feeding on tiny crustaceans. 8-9 foot long baleen plates hanging from the upper jaw strain krill and copepods from surface waters. With a grace belying its gross tonnage, rights can hurl their robust bodies into the air, breaching repeatedly. They also can "sail" along with strong winds by holding their wide flukes upright. Their tell-tale callosities- growths above the eyes and along the snout- are often covered with whale lice and barnacles. Every three to five years, mature females give birth to a 15 foot long calf, born after a 12 month gestation period.


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