More Right whales

An early scale model of North Atlantic right whale Phoenix that was used to develop a life size model for the Smithsonian shows the location of scars on her mouth from entanglements with fishing gear...
In 1996, at age nine, Phoenix has her first calf (North Atlantic right whale #2605) off the southeast coast of Florida. More about the right whale can be found in our Tale of a Whale featured story .
Two North Atlantic right whales ( Eubalaena glacialis ) swim at the surface of the water. Learn more about this species in the North Atlantic Right Whale section.
Phoenix swims in George’s Bank, off the coast of New England, on March 13, 2009. More about whales can be found in our Tale of a whale featured story .
This is North Atlantic right whale #3333 who was spotted with fishing gear trailing from his mouth during an aerial survey off the coast of Georgia on January 29, 2008. Entanglement is one of the...
The North Atlantic right whale is one of the world's largest animals, but scientists estimate that fewer than 450 remain. In the past, they were hunted for their oil and baleen; now they get tangled...
A team from the Center for Coastal Studies works to free a one-year-old right whale from the fishing ropes wrapped and knotted around its body and flippers. The whale is Kingfisher, #3346 in the...
Phoenix’s mother, Stumpy (#1004), was killed in a collision with a ship near Virginia in February 2004. She was pregnant with her sixth known calf. More about whales can be found in our Tale of a...
This magnified photo provides a close-up look at copepods—tiny crustaceans that right whales feed on. There are many species of copepods that live throughout the water column, from floating at the...
This early whale was well suited to life at sea. But it also lived on land. An ancestor of the right whale , Maiacetus lived 49-40 million years ago. It had flipper-like limbs and webbed feet, like...
This radio device is used to track North Atlantic right whales. Suction cups hold the device to a whale's back, where it records data such as depth, water, temperature, and underwater sounds. These...
Whale baleen, the stiff bristly mouthparts that sieve small prey from the water, was strong yet flexible, and was used to provide structure in many human products, including umbrellas, corsets, and...
A crew works on creating a life-size, meticulously detailed model of the North Atlantic right whale Phoenix—the “ambassador” of the Smithsonian’s Sant Ocean Hall in the National Museum of Natural...
There were fewer than 450 North Atlantic right whales in 2006. Yet it has been illegal to hunt them since 1935. Why haven’t populations increased? Traits that made right whales easy to hunt make them...
The fringed baleen plates are easy to observe as this North Atlantic right whale skims the water’s surface while it feeds. Many baleen whales suck in as much water was possible, and then push it out...
This close-up photo of a right whale's head shows dozens of hitchhikers—tiny crustaceans known as whale lice, or cyamid amphipods. They live on the rough patches of skin (known as callosities) on...
Since 1987, researchers have been tracking the North Atlantic right whale named Phoenix. More about Phoenix can be found in the Tale of a Whale photo essay .
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