Known as a right whale because during the height of whaling efforts, this was the 'right' whale to catch, as it is large, slow-moving and floats when dead (5). This whale is easy to identify as it has a uniformly dark colour with white callosities (outgrowths of hard skin) on and around the head which can even be used to distinguish individuals (2). The body is rotund and the head is very large, making up one third of the total length. Unusually for baleen whales, the southern right whale does not have a dorsal fin or a grooved throat. The flippers are short and wide, and the blow hole is V-shaped (2).
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