Right Whale Facts | Right Whale Diet & Habitat

Let’s talk about all these interesting right whale facts such as right whale diet, habitat, reproduction and widespread distribution. Right whale (E. glaciallis) is the species of large baleen whales that belong to the genus Eubalaena. There are three species of this family; the North Pacific right whale, southern right whale, and the North Atlantic right whale. The right whale is classified in the Balaenidae family along with the bowhead whale. The right whales exhibit curved body together with the bright gray skin. There are few rough spots on the right whale’s skin that exists because of parasitism by whale lice. These whales can grow to a size of about 18 meters (59 feet), and weighs around 100 short tons. They are considerably larger as compared to humpback whales and fairly smaller than blue whales. These whales are highly migratory in that they travel great distances in pursuit of food. The right whales do not like to live in open waters rather they largely inhabit in continental shelves. These whales primarily rely on zooplankton, pteropods, and krill for their daily consumption. The weaning takes place after eight months.

Right Whale Facts – Get to Know them

  • The right whales are easily recognizable by their unique callosities (rough blotches on skin), lacking dorsal fin, and with a stretched back.
  • The length of the right whales measures around 18 meters (59 feet).
  • These whales weigh around 100 short tons (91 t), considerably larger than gray nurse and humpback whales.
  • The right whales are capable to reach a swimming speed of about 5 km (9.3 km/h).
  • These mammals are highly acrobatic.
  • The length of adult right whales measure around 11 – 18 meters (36 – 59 feet), with the weight measuring at 60 – 80 short tons (54 – 73 t). The average length measures around 13 – 16 meters (43 – 52 feet).
  • The tail fluke of these whales is about 40% of their entire body length.
  • The species inhabiting in the North Pacific are regarded as the largest among the rest of species in the same family.
  • The right whale’s blow reaches a height of 5 meters (16 feet) above the surface.
  • There are around 200 – 300 baleen plates on each side of the whale’s mouth. These plates measure around 2 meters (6.6 feet).
  • Some of the most frequent right whales predators are sharks, humans and orcas. In times of danger, right whales descend into the shallow water.


  • The breeding season can take place anytime especially for those species inhabiting in the North Atlantic. These whales congregate in small groups comprising 18 – 20 whales.
  • The female right whale breeds after 3 – 4 years.
  • The length of the calves measure around 4 – 6 meters (13 – 20 feet), with the weight measuring at 1 short ton (0.91 t).
  • The gestation period of right whale lasts for 1 year.
  • The growth of these mammals is too quick until their first birthday.
  • The lifespan of right whale is about 50 – 60 years.

What Do Right Whales Eat

The right whales primarily feed on small crustaceans known as copepods, krill, zooplankton, and pteropods. These whales are considered to be the opportunistic feeders. They are known to swim with their mouths open.

Where Do Right Whales Live

These whales are the inhabitants of three distinct regions of the globe: the western Atlantic Ocean, the North Atlantic, and the North Pacific ranging from Japan, Alaska, to the Southern Ocean. The right whale can also bear temperatures between 20 – 60 degrees in latitude. There are around 400 right whales in the North Atlantic; 23 in the North Pacific and almost 15,000 residing in the southern Hemisphere.

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2 responses to “Right Whale Facts | Right Whale Diet & Habitat”

  1. The top image of the whale breaching on this page is not a right whale!

    1. Thanks for pointing it out. The picture has been changed.

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