Right Whale Baleen

A right whale opens its mouth wide, revealing huge plates of baleen hanging from its upper jaw. There are between 200 and 270 baleen plates on each side of a right whale's upper jaw. They work like a giant sieve to catch the whale's food. Strong but flexible, baleen is made of the same substance as your fingernails - keratin.

Discover more about this species in A Tale of A Whale, a photo essay about a whale named Phoenix.


©Mason Weinrich, Whale Center of New England