Right Whales

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Right Whales


(Balaenidae), a family of mammals of the order Cetácea. Length, 5-21 m. The belly is smooth without folds. The neck vertebrae are fused. The plates of the whalebone are narrow, long, and elastic. There are three genera, each with one species: the dwarf whale (temperate and cold waters of the southern hemisphere), the bowhead whale (northern Arctic Ocean), and the southern whale (cold and temperate seas of both hemispheres). They are few in number. Hunting of right whales has been forbidden by international convention since 1946.


Tomilin, A. G. Kitoobraznye. Moscow, 1957. (Zveri SSSR i prile-zhashchikh stran, vol. 9.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
According to the recent study, the climate-driven changes rippling throughout the Gulf of Maine have serious consequences for the small number of remaining right whales. Climate change is outdating many of our conservation and management efforts, and it's difficult to keep up with the rapid evolution of this ecosystem
Right whales got their name because they were the "right" whale to hunt: they are slow, come close to shore, and float when they are dead.
At present, there are approximately 450 North Atlantic right whales presumed to be alive, and the threat of extinction is very real.
After centuries of whaling, the right whale currently occurs as a very threatened population off eastern North America and the grey whale has completely disappeared from the North Atlantic and is now restricted to the North Pacific.
Right whales spend much of the year up north, in waters off the coast of the northeastern US and Canada.
The federal government is required by law to protect right whales. But the measures implemented by regulators over the last few decades have not gone far enough.
"It's a pivotal moment for right whales," said Barb Zoodsma, who oversees the right whale recovery program in the U.S.
Scientists have, therefore, said that a blend of the rising mortality rate and the declining fertility rate is resulting in the extinction of the right whales. They predicted that at this rate, the whales would become extinct by 2040.
North Atlantic right whales are among the rarest marine mammals in the world, and they have endured a deadly year.
Therefore, considering that grasping and dragging its prey is a common behavior of killer whales and previous attacks on southern right whales are known (Harris and Garcia, 1986; Jefferson et al., 1991; Sironi et al., 2008), it seems reasonable to assume that the marks found on the calf reported here were produced when the whale was still alive.
Though official handoff is scheduled for the end of the year, some of Watkins' instruments are already displayed in an exhibit in the Jacobs Family Gallery, where four full whale skeletons--including a North Atlantic right whale mother and unborn calf, killed by a ship strike--float overhead, suspended by cables.

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