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See the fact file below for more information on the Southern right whale or alternatively, you can download our 23-page Southern Right Whale worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Right whales are also known as black whales.
- They have plump bodies with arching rostrums, v-shaped blowholes, and dark gray skin or black skin.
- Right whales have rough patches of skin on their heads, which is their most distinguishing feature.
- There are three species of right whales: (1) North Atlantic right whale, (2) North Pacific right whale, and (3) Southern right whale.
- Southern right whales belong to the kingdom Animalia, phylum Chordata, class Mammalia, order Cetacea, family Balaenopteridae, and genus Eubalaena.
- The North Atlantic right whale is known as Eubalaena glacialis, the North Pacific right whale as Eubalaena japonica, and the southern right whale as Eubalaena australis.
- Southern right whales are easily recognizable due to the callosities on their head. They also have broad backs without a dorsal fin, and long arching mouths which begin above the eye.
- Southern right whales also have dark skin that ranges from dark gray to black, with some white patches around the belly area.
- Southern right whales’ callosities appear white due to large colonies of cyamids or whale lice.
- An adult female southern right whale is about 49 feet and can weigh up to 47 tonnes.
- Larger records note southern right whales reaching about 57-59 feet and a weight of about 80 tonnes.
- Unlike the North Atlantic right whale and the North Pacific right whale, the Southern right whale appears to be more active on the water surface and tends to interact more with humans.
- Southern right whales have a unique behavior which is known as tail sailing. This behavior is a form of play.
- Right whales also interact with other cetaceans like humpback whales and dolphins.
- Southern right whales have a strong sense of maternal connection.
- Calving females are known to visit their ‘birth spots’ at 3-year intervals.
- Southern right whales have also been recognized to nurse unrelated orphans on certain occasions.
- Female southern right whales have a gestation period of about 11 to 12 months.
- The weaning age for calves is about 11 to 12 months.
- Generally, female southern right whales give birth to calves at an interval of 3 years.
- Southern right whales become sexually mature after 9 to 10 years.
- They usually mate during their mating season, which is around July to August. Their calving season, on the other hand, is around June to August.
- Southern right whales feed on planktons, copepods, krill, and mysids.
- Southern right whales do not have teeth, and they feed by filtering the food they consume through their baleen plates, which are located on each side of their upper jaws.
- Southern right whales find food by swimming with their mouths open and then trapping their prey or food in their baleen bristles at the same time, filtering water out of their mouths.
- One of the world centers for whale watching is Hermanus in South Africa, due to the population of southern right whales in the area.
- During winter, southern right whales appear close to the shoreline where visitors can watch them from them shore as well as from nearby places.
- Imbituba in Santa Catarina in Brazil has been recognized as the National Right Whale capital, and holds Right Whale Week every September.
- During winter and spring in Australia, southern right whales can be seen migrating along the Great Australian Bight in South Australia.
- Southern right whales can also be seen by the public from shores along New Zealand’s coasts, especially in southern Fiordland, Southland, and on the North Island coast.
- According to the World Wildlife Fund, the population of southern right whales around the world is around 10,000.
- Southern right whales are under the protection of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 of the Parliament of Australia.
- On the other hand, they are of least concern under the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.
- Some threats southern right whales face are entanglement, vessel disturbance, global warming, and underwater noise.
- Southern right whales appear to be the the primary species of whales involved in vessel disturbances or collisions which lead to injury or even death.
- Exposure of southern right whales to underwater noise may cause permanent hearing loss and may also deter them from their habitats.
Southern Right Whale Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Southern right whale across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Southern Right Whale worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Southern right whale, one of the three species classified as right whales, which is a baleen whale. These whales are spread throughout the southern part of the Southern Hemisphere.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Southern Right Whale Facts
- More Facts
- Treasure Chest
- Lunch Time
- Right Whales
- Let’s Play a Game
- Southern Right Whale Essay
- Create a Poster
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Link will appear as Southern Right Whale Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, May 12, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.