Eubalaena glacialis is typically uniformly dark in color except for scars, belly patches, parasites and head excrescences or callosities, most of which are light. Callosities are prominent on the rostrum, near blowholes, near eyes, and on the chin and lower lip. These large crusty growths often harbor crustaceans called whale lice, and may therefore appear white, orange, yellow, or pink. Hair can be found on the tips of the chin and upper jaw and is also associated with the callosities. Right whales have no dorsal fin, nor do they have the grooved throat. The flippers are very broad and short.
Compared to other mysticetes, right whales are very large in girth relative to their length giving them a rotund appearance. The jaws are greatly arched in order to fit the exceptionally long baleen. Baleen can reach a maximum length of 5 m with an average of 300 plates on either side. The head is enormous, close to one-third the body length. There is sexual dimorphism; females are larger than males. Young are 4.5 to 6m long at birth. Adults can be up to 17m long and weigh up to 100 tons.
The blowholes are well partitioned on the exterior surface, resulting in a vertical V-shaped blow that may be up to 5m high. The largest amount of blubber found in whales is that of right whales. The average thickness is 20 inches and can be as thick as 28 inches. It comprises 36-45% of the total body weight. All seven cervical vertebrae are fused into one osseous unit. They are extremely slow swimmers, swimming at an average of 2 knots and rarely exceeding 5 knots.
(Cummings 1985, Slijper 1979).
Range mass: 55000 to 95000 kg.
Range length: 17 (high) m.
Other Physical Features: endothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry
Sexual Dimorphism: female larger