Fun North Atlantic Right Whale Facts For Kids

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Nov 17, 2022 By Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Shikha Sharma
North Atlantic right whale facts that they are mostly seen on the surface of ocean and sea, in groups of two or three.

The North Atlantic right whale or scientifically known as Eubalaena glacialis are baleen whales, which is among one of three species from the genus Eubalaena.

These large whales are one of the biggest marine mammals. They are one of the critically endangered species present on the earth and are protected under the United States Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act and Canada's Species at Risk Act.

The North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) is also known as the black right whale.

Like all the other baleen whales they can grow into quite a large whale in total body length up to 50 ft (15 m) and weighing up to 140,000 lb (64 tons).

North Atlantic right whales can be easily identified due to the fact that they don't have a dorsal fin, and by dark colors on their back, though some individuals have some kind of patches or scars on their belly.

Other than that they have very specific rough white patches of skin, also known as callosities on their head, chin, and on the edge of their lower lips.

This is some of the basic information on these big marine mammals, if you want to know more then continue reading to our next sections.

You can also check out our facts articles on the blue whale and sperm whale.

North Atlantic Right Whale Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a North Atlantic right whale?

The North Atlantic whales are one large whale species to be found in the ocean waters.  

What class of animal does a North Atlantic right whale belong to?

The Atlantic whales can be classified as the biggest Atlantic ocean mammals. As with all the other mammals around the world these whales also give birth to their young population.  

How many North Atlantic right whales are there in the world?

The North Atlantic right whale population or the exact number of whales currently present in the coastal waters in recent years is countable at almost 400 whales left. They can be said to be on the brink of extinction with this low number.    

Where does a North Atlantic right whale live?

You can see these whales throughout the Northern Hemisphere, but there are much fewer now due to climate change. These whales are mostly seen from Iceland to the Gulf of Mexico to Nova Scotia, Canada, and Florida.

What is a North Atlantic right whale's habitat?

The North Atlantic right whale habitat is totally dependent on the time of the year. They mostly spend their time in shallow, coastal waters near and around bays and peninsulas. They require areas to feed that have sufficient shelter and food so that females can safely raise their young.

Who do North Atlantic right whales live with?

North Atlantic whales usually prefer to live with one of their kind, not in large numbers but they can be found in small groups. Usually, the size of the group may range from a single whale to a group of 12 and sometimes in pairs.

How long does a North Atlantic right whale live?

The average life span of the North Atlantic right whales species can be up to 67 years in both wild and captivity.

How do they reproduce?

The reproduction process in whale populations is quite interesting to know and understand. First of all, the breeding or copulates take place from December to March.

Consequently, this is when most of the young are born. They have to follow a process in which they nuzzle and caress their mate, after which the mating right whales roll about.

During this rolling, they expose flippers, flukes, backs, bellies, and portions of their heads. There is evidence in which males are shown as performing precopulatory behavior by placing their chin on the exposed hindquarters of the female.

These big sea creatures are polygamous in nature meaning they do not form permanent pairs. Females and males both mate with multiple partners.

These are some of the rare mammals in which no competing fight is taken place between the males. The breeding process lasts for an hour or two, after which participants go their own way.

Male whales have the largest testes of any living mammal. The Northern Atlantic right whale breeds during the time of winter and give birth to a single young in the time of spring.

What is their conservation status?

The North Atlantic right whale status of conservation is something we really need to talk about, as they are counted as a Critically Endangered species of whales and are under the greatest threats.

It is because of the ongoing program of fisheries worldwide, as the North Atlantic whale moves towards the surface of the ocean to feed themselves, and when they float they got killed.

The hunting of this baleen whale population began as early as the 10th century and was hunted massively during the 19th century with as many as 100,000 whales slaughtered during this time.

Now there is a ban established by several government organizations in recent times such as the United States Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act and Canada's Species at Risk Act.

Though, there are no such significant results shown after the ban on the increase of the population.

There are several more threats currently endangering them such as collisions with boats, since they rest and feed at the surface too often, pollution, entanglement in fishing nets, sonic pollution, and disruption caused by several kinds of military practices.

North Atlantic Right Whale Fun Facts

What do North Atlantic right whales look like?

The looks of North Atlantic right whales can be described as dark-colored as they are also known as black right whales due to their uniform dark color. They have callosities prominent on the rostrum, on the chin and lower lip, near blowholes, and near eyes.

Sometimes they may appear to have different colors of harbor crustaceans called whale lice, mainly in white, orange, yellow, or pink.

There is no dorsal fin, nor do they have a grooved throat.

Due to their large size and rotund appearance, they have great jaws to fit in the exceptionally long baleen, which can reach up to the maximum length of 5 m with an average of 300 plates. There is a sexual dimorphism also which can be seen as females are larger than males.

Whales are likely to live a long life - a close relative of right whale, the bowhead whale, can live up to 200 years.

How cute are they?

Though whales are quite enormous in size, people seem to consider them as cute because of their intelligence.

How do they communicate?

They are very playful and they tend to make some low frequency sounds like the 'belch-like utterance' which is their most common sound. They are known to make other sounds defined as moaning, grunting, mooing, bellowing, and sighing with the frequency 50-500, and the duration ranged from 0.5-6 seconds.

How big is a North Atlantic right whale?

As we all know whales are one of the biggest living creatures in the world, so the North Atlantic right whale range up to a size of 17 m or 55.8 ft long.

How fast can a North Atlantic right whale move?

There is no specified speed determined for the whale, though they tend to swim pretty slow due to their large size.  

How much does a North Atlantic right whale weigh?

North Atlantic right whales are one of the heaviest animals and can weigh around 55000-95000 kg.  

What are their male and female names of the species?

No such names given to the individual male and female species of north atlantic right whales.

What would you call a baby North Atlantic right whale?

We can call baby North Atlantic right whales baby right whales, or calves.

What do they eat?

North Atlantic right whales just come near the surface to feed themselves, feeding on small copepods, krill, and euphausiids.

Are they dangerous?

No, they aren't dangerous by any means to humans, in fact, we have to protect them in their natural environment as our actions pose great threats to them in the ocean.

Would they make a good pet?

Definitely whales won't make a good pet, as they are not meant to be pets in first place and must be left to live in their natural habitat.

Did you know...

North Atlantic right whales can travel more than 1,000 mi (1,609 km) mostly in between the United States and Canada in calving grounds and feeding grounds.

North Atlantic right whales typically socialize at the surface of the water and the group is known as   'surface-active groups', sometimes they can also be seen breaching and slapping their tails and flippers at the surface.

Why is the North Atlantic right whale called the right whale?

North Atlantic right whales are called right whales because from the fishers' point of view they are among the right whale for hunting and catching.

Why do North Atlantic right whales have calluses?

These calluses are used for identification purposes. The white color of the callosities is prsent due to the colonies of cyamids or whale lice.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including fin whale, or bowhead whale.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our North Atlantic right whale coloring pages.

North Atlantic Right Whale Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Large amount of fishes and zooplanktons

What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


How Much Did They Weigh?

55000-95000 kg

What habitat Do they Live In?

ocean and sea

Where Do They Live?

northern hemisphere

How Long Were They?

43–52 ft (13–16 m)

How Tall Were They?








Scientific Name

Eubalaena glacialis

What Do They Look Like?

Uniformly dark

Skin Type


What Are Their Main Threats?

humans, sharks, and killer whales

What is their Conservation Status?

Least Concern
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Written by Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason

Bachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason picture

Adekunle Olanrewaju JasonBachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

With over 3+ years of professional experience, Olanrewaju is a certified SEO Specialist and Content Writer. He holds a BSc in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos. Throughout his dynamic career, Olanrewaju has successfully taken on various roles with startups and established organizations. He has served as a Technical Writer, Blogger, SEO Specialist, Social Media Manager, and Digital Marketing Manager. Known for his hardworking nature and insightful approach, Olanrewaju is dedicated to continuous learning and improvement.
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Fact-checked by Shikha Sharma

Bachelor of Commerce

Shikha Sharma picture

Shikha SharmaBachelor of Commerce

Shikha has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Delhi. She also holds a Diploma in Information Technology, which has helped her acquire technical and design skills.

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