Backpackers Plettenberg Bay

Whales have been spotted

June 3, 2010 by No Comment

I got a message from one of the boating companies that today they spotted the first Southern Right Whale. It’s time for them and we are all looking forward to welcoming them back.

Here is some cool info about these amazing animals:

The Southern Right Whale is a baleen whale, one of three species classified as right whales belonging to the genus Eubalaena. Like other right whales, the Southern Right Whale is readily distinguished from others by the callosities on its head, a broad back without a dorsal fin, and a long arching mouth that begins above the eye. Its skin is very dark grey or black, occasionally with some white patches on the belly. The right whale’s callosities appear white due to large colonies of whale lice. It is almost indistinguishable from the closely related North Atlantic and the North Pacific Right Whales, displaying only minor skull differences. It may have fewer callosities on its head and more on its lower lips than the two northern species. Approximately 12,000 Southern Right Whales are spread throughout the southern part of the Southern Hemisphere.

The maximum size of an adult female is 18.5 m (61 ft) and approximately 130 tonnes (130 LT; 140 ST).The testicles of right whales are likely to be the largest of any animal, each weighing around 500 kg (1,100 lb). This suggests that sperm competition is important in the mating process.

Right whales cannot cross the warm equatorial waters to connect with the other sub species and inter breed: their thick layers of insulating blubber make it impossible for them to dissipate their internal body heat in tropical waters.

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