Eubalaena glacialis is a baleen whale and can be recognised as such by the plates of baleen (rather than teeth) suspended from the upper jaw and the two blowholes on the upper body. It has an arched upper jaw and a smooth lower jaw without pleats. The northern right whale is robust bodied and can reach up to 17 m in length. With no similar species in British and Irish waters, the northern right whale is easily recognisable at close range. It has distinct roughened areas of skin, known as callosities, on its large head. Callosities are present above the eye, on the upper jaw, and a line of small callosities is present on each side of the lower jaw leading to a large callosity at the front of the jaw.Northern right whales are usually found alone or in pairs, although in feeding areas up to a dozen have been seen together. It occasionally breeches, and when diving, it will often show the tail flukes. Slapping of the flippers and tail flukes has been observed. Dives may last up to 40 minutes long (Kinze, 2002).
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