Kingdom Animalia (animals)
Phylum Chordata (vertebrates)
Class Mammalia (mammals)
Order Cetacea (whales and dolphins)
Suborder Mysticeti (baleen whales)
Family Balaenidae
Genus Eubalaena 
The right whales are baleen whales with a hairy head that is up to one-quarter of the body length. They have very small eyes and large lips. They grow to be about 50 feet and weigh about 12,000 pounds. The females are slightly larger than males. They have black skin with white or brown patches. Right whales are filter feeding carnivores. Right whales only form long-term bonds between mother and calf. The number of right whales species is unknown. Most biologists believe there are two species. The right whale gestation period is about 12 months and the calf is born tail first . Northern right whales are near extinction due to past hunting pressures and are an endangered species.There are approximately 4,000 Right Whales.

Cool trivia fact: The Right Whale is so named because it was considered the "right whale to hunt" for oil and whalebone by 19th century whalers.

Right" whale` (?). Zool. (a)

The bowhead, Arctic, or Greenland whale (Balaena mysticetus), from whose mouth the best whalebone is obtained.


Any other whale that produces valuable whalebone, as the Atlantic, or Biscay, right whale (Balaena cisarctica), and the Pacific right whale (B. Sieboldii); a bone whale.

Pygmy right whale Zool., a small New Zealand whale (Neobalaena marginata) which is only about sixteen feet long. It produces short, but very elastic and tough, whalebone.


© Webster 1913.

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