Archives for tag: critically endangered whales


Species Profile: The Gray Whale

The Gray Whale resisted capture so much that whalers named it “Devilfish.”

A Gray Whale

A Gray Whale In Captivity (Photo: Marine Mammal Commission/Wikimedia. Public Domain)

The Gray Whale is a medium-sized baleen whale and the only surviving member of its genus and family. This species is a migratory animal that travels annually between its feeding and breeding grounds.

These whales have a hump and a ridge of sharp bumps running down their backs rather than a dorsal fin. They also prefer to stay close to shore – feeding in shallow waters.

The common name, Gray Whale, comes from the contrasting gray patches and white mottling on its dark colored skin. The white patches are the result of barnacles and lice that have attached themselves to the whales’ skins. In

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Species Profile: The North Atlantic Right Whale

The North Atlantic Right Whale is the most endangered species among whales today. 

North Atlantic Right Whale and a calf

North Atlantic Right Whale With A Calf (Photo: NMFS NOAA)

The North Atlantic Right Whale is one of three baleen right whale species in the Eubalaena genus. They are among the biggest whales on earth.

Their docile and easy to hunt nature made them a target for ruthless hunting in past decades.  Today, they are easily the most endangered whales in the world.

These whales are easy to identify with the callosities on their heads (caused by whale lice infestation), and a broad back lacking any dorsal fin. Also, their mouths arcs deeply from just below the eye. The North Atlantic right whale has a very dark gray/black body and some individuals have white patches on the belly.

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Dead Right Whales Are Turning Up In The Gulf Of St. Lawrence

Despite being the most endangered whales on the planet, 10 dead Right Whales turned up so far in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Right Whale Breaching Water: Dead Right Whales found in Gulf of St. Lawrence

A Right Whale Breaching Water (Author: Michaël Catanzariti cc by-sa 3.0)

In a phenomenon that has left marine biologists and scientists completely baffled, another Right Whale was discovered already dead in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. This brings the total number of dead whales to 10 within the space of a little over two months: June 7 to date.

Observers are describing this as unprecedented and “catastrophic” and that’s no exaggeration. That’s because this species is Critically Endangered.

In fact, these mammals are just a breath away from extinction.

There are currently just over 500 Right whales left on Earth!

 

The “unprecedented number of right whale deaths is very concerning,” Federal Department of Fisheries.

 

A Bit About Right Whales

Right whales are among the biggest whales on Earth. They are easy to distinguish from other very large whales. They have large, bulbous heads and are usually covered with rough patches of skin.

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