The Southern Right whale according to MammalMAP
Southern Right whales are relatively easy to identify – they are uniformly dark with white callosities on and around the head. They do not have a dorsal fin or ventral throat grooves like other baleen whales. But perhaps one of their most distinguished features is their blow hole. Southern Right whales have a well partitioned blowhole that displays a V-shaped exhaust of water vapour – this helps to identify the whale at a distance.
Southern Right whales are filter feeders. Their main food source is small plankton called copepods. These copepods aggregate in Antarctic waters and the whales will spend the first half of the year in these feeding grounds building up their energy reserves before migrating to the coast to mate or give birth to calves.
Southern Right whales are polygamous – having up to seven males to one female. However, there is no animosity between the males mating with the same female. Somewhat unusual for mammals. Southern Right whales only have one calf at a time. These calves weigh between 1000 -1500 kgs and are 5 – 6 meters in length. Born in sheltered bays between June and November, these calves will take 10 years to fully mature.
The IUCN lists Southern Right whales as a species of Least Concern. The population was estimated to be contain approximately 3 200 mature females in 2007 and there has been increased rate of sightings of Southern Right whales.
No one has provided updates yet.