We Have the Right Whale
This week we’re meeting some plankton eaters! And today we’re meeting a whale that winters off the Georgia coast! In fact they are our state marine mammal! Woohoo! Let’s learn some cool stuff about these giants of the ocean!
Right whale fun facts:
- Right whales are divided into two species, the Northern and the Southern. We’re meeting the North Atlantic right whale today!
- These whales inhabit the ocean waters of the coast of North America.
- North Atlantic right whales grow up to 52 feet in length and weigh up to 70 tons! Wow!
- North Atlantic right whales are critically endangered. There are around 400 of these amazing creatures left.
- These baleen whales are carnivores. They feed on plankton like krill. They skim these tiny prey from the water using their baleen.
- They feed generally in spring through fall in the cold waters of the Northern Atlantic Ocean near Canada.
- Female north Atlantic right whales are larger than the males.
- Females migrate to the waters off of Georgia and Florida to calve. They have one baby at a time.
- Northern right whales are slow swimmers and tend to stay near the surface.
- They are often in danger of boat strikes. In their protected habitats, boats must keep slow speeds.
- Scientist believe these giants live up to 50 years and maybe even up to 100 years.
- There are great conservation efforts going on to protect these whales. They are one of the most endangered whale in the ocean today. Fortunately they have been protect since the 1930s, but recovery has been slow. You can learn more about those efforts from the NOAA website on them.
Protecting the earth’s creatures and the habitats we share starts with all of us. These whales along with other ocean dwelling animals can be found with plastic in their stomachs. Make sure your plastic goods go into a recycling bin and never into wild habitats! Let’s do it for the Right Whale!