Fun Right Whales Facts For Kids

Anusuya Mukherjee
Oct 28, 2022 By Anusuya Mukherjee
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Smriti Chaudhary
Here are northern Right Whales facts for you to read and learn.

The North Atlantic Right Whale (Eubalaena glacialis) belongs to the category of large baleen whales which belong to the genus Eubaleena. They fall in the family of Balaenidae which also includes the whales that have bowheads.

The North Atlantic Right Whale's body is defined as bodies that are rotund with blowholes that are V-shaped and vary in skin color from gray to black. Their size and weight depend and vary according to the different categories that they belong to.

This species is now on the brink of extinction and serious efforts are required for its conservation. They have enormous heads which are almost one-third their total body length.

One of the features that distinguishes North Atlantic Right Whales from other whales is that it has patches that are rough and it is said that the main reason for the rough patches is due to parasitism.

The largest North Atlantic Right Whale known was 68 ft in length and weighed around 300,000 lb. Here are some interesting facts about right whales for kids as well as adults to enjoy.

After reading these fun facts about right whales, learn more about different marine mammals, and check these leopard seal facts and Amazon river dolphins facts.

Right Whales Interesting Facts

What type of animal are Right Whales?

The North Atlantic Right Whale is a type of fish that belongs to the genus eubaleena. North Atlantic Right Whales migrate seasonally to feed and to give birth.

When populous in the wild, this large whale species had a feeding behavior that was surface-skimming and slow, they tended to stay in areas that were close to the coast, their high blubber content enabled them to float when they were killed, helping to produce whale oil.

What class of animal do Right Whales belong to?

North Atlantic Right Whales belong to the class of mammals. North Atlantic Right Whales are native to the North Atlantic but are now categorized in the list of critically endangered species. There are less than 50 individuals that are remaining in the species.

How many Right Whales are there in the world?

As North Atlantic Right Whales are one of the most endangered species, they have less than 400 individuals that are remaining. There is a need to protect North Atlantic Right Whales before they disappear from nature.

Where do Right Whales live?

North Atlantic Right Whales live near the coast and live in temperate Atlantic or Pacific waters off the coast of the United States.

What is a Right Whale's habitat?

A Right Whale’s habitat is near the coast, and it prefers to live in temperate Atlantic or the Pacific waters.

Who do Right Whales live with?

North Atlantic Right Whales prefer to live alone most of the time. When North Atlantic Right Whales migrate seasonally, then they live in groups sometimes.

How long do Right Whales live?

The lifespan of a North Atlantic Right Whale is 70 years. The lifespan is dependent on different factors such as environmental changes, weather conditions, food and nutrition, and threats to their life.

How do they reproduce?

The mating season for North Atlantic Right Whale occurs any time in the North Atlantic, where the Right Whales gather together into a surface that is known as active-groups and consists of as many as 20 whales and then mate with a single female.

The female puts her belly to the surface area and the males try to stroke her with the help of their flippers and trying to keep her underwater. Females then give birth to the offspring, and females give birth every 3-4 years; the breeding season lasts from the middle of July through August.

After the birth of the offspring, they become sexually matured around the age of 9 years old.

What is their conservation status?

North Atlantic Right Whales are classed as one of the most endangered species. The reason why Right Whales are on the brink of extinction is they get entangled in fishing gear and ship strikes.

This large whale species is often located near to ports, which often overlap with the shipping lanes, making them vulnerable to collision with vessels. United States and Canada run Oceana campaigns to reduce the threat to the baleen whale populations.

Right Whales Fun Facts

What do Right Whales look like?

North Atlantic Right Whales are very huge in size, they have rotund bodies, and are mostly black in color. Some of the Right Whale’s belly has white blotches.

Right Whales do not have dorsal fins and the flippers of the North Atlantic Right Whale are broad in size and shaped like a paddle, their tails are flukes which are wide in size.

Their heads are very big which covers almost one-third of the Right Whale's body length. Their mouth consists of hundreds of baleen plates with each measuring up to 8 ft.

Right Whales are black in color.

How cute are they?

The North Atlantic Right Whale is cute and friendly towards humans. These baleen whales are cute in their appearance.

How do they communicate?

Right Whales use their vocalization to communicate with other Right Whales and this is known as an up call. It is a short whoop sound that rises from about 50 Hz to 440 Hz and lasts for about 2 seconds. They function as signals that bring whales together.

How big are Right Whales?

The size differs from one species to another for North Atlantic Right Whale. North Atlantic Right Whales are 14 m long, South Atlantic Right Whales are 14 m long, and North Pacific Right Whales are 15 m long.

How fast can Right Whales swim?

Right Whales are known to be slow swimmers. This marine animal swim slowly at speeds of around 3 mph.

How much do Right Whales weigh?

Right Whales differ in weight according to the different types. The Southern Right Whale weighs around 50,700 lb, North Atlantic Right Whale weighs around 88,000-155,000 lb and North Pacific Right Whale weighs around 110,000-1,76,000 lb.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There is no specific name for the male and the female species of Right Whales. They are known as Right Whales only.

What would you call a baby Right Whale?

A baby right whale is called a calf.

What do they eat?

Right Whales feed on copepods or tiny crustaceans. Right Whales strain them by consuming huge volumes of ocean water through their baleen plates which also acts as a sieve. This marine mammal also swims slowly while feeding.

Are they dangerous?

Right Whales are not dangerous in nature. It is believed that human interactions still present the greatest danger to Right Whales. Right Whales are not dangerous and do not cause any danger to humans.

Would they make a good pet?

You cannot pet Right Whales as they are huge in size and heavy in weight. This marine mammal is not meant to be a pet in a home.

As they are classed as one of the most endangered species, having the Right Whale as a pet is illegal. Therefore, you cannot have the Right Whales as pets in your homes.

Did you know...

Right Whales are one of the largest species on Earth. Individual Right Whales are known to undergo very long migrations between feeding grounds in the subpolar and calving grounds. Researchers who specialise in studying Right Whales use their ear wax in order to determine their age after they have died.

North Atlantic Right Whales travel more than 1,000 miles between the calving grounds in the U.S. (Southeast) and feeding grounds in the U.S. (Northeast) and Canada. The Right Whale population grows slowly as the females do not become sexually mature until 10 years of age.

Why are Right Whales endangered?

One of the major reasons why Right Whales are critically endangered is the entanglement in fishing gear and vessel strikes. There are less than 400 individuals that are remaining, out of which, there are less than hundred breeding females.

Right Whales are the preferred targets for the whaling industry as they hunt them for their docile nature. Right Whales have been hunted since the 11th century and were nearly extinct, and they have finally received protection from whaling.

What is unique about Right Whales?

Right Whales are unique because of the feature that it known as callosities, occuring because of the white patches of the roughened skin that is present on their fins. Each of the Right Whales has a unique pattern that enables scientists to identify Right Whales individually.

Right Whales are named Right Whales because it was the right whale to hunt as it moved slowly, and floated after being killed, making it an easy target.

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 Right Whale coloring pages.

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Written by Anusuya Mukherjee

Bachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

Anusuya Mukherjee picture

Anusuya MukherjeeBachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".

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Fact-checked by Smriti Chaudhary

Bachelor of Technology specializing in Information Technology

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Smriti ChaudharyBachelor of Technology specializing in Information Technology

Smriti, a student data scientist, and coder, is pursuing her Bachelor of Technology at K.J. Somaiya College of Engineering. She has achieved top rankings in the International English Olympiad, National Spelling Bee, and PSAT/SAT English Section. She is experienced in content creation and editing for various academic institutions.

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