Bowhead Whales

Bowhead Whales

The bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) is a baleen whale of the right whale family Balaenidae in suborder Mysticeti.

About Bowhead Whales

The bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) is a baleen whale of the right whale family Balaenidae in suborder Mysticeti. A stocky dark-colored whale without a dorsal fin, it can grow to 20 m (66 ft) in length. This thick-bodied species can weigh 75 tonnes (74 long tons; 83 short tons) to 100 tonnes (98 long tons; 110 short tons), second only to the blue whale, although the bowhead's maximum length is less than several other whales. It lives entirely in fertile Arctic and sub-Arctic waters, unlike other whales that migrate to feed or reproduce to low latitude waters. It is also known as Greenland right whale or Arctic whale. American whalemen called it the steeple-top, polar whale, or Russia or Russian whale. The bowhead is perhaps the longest-living mammal, and has the largest mouth of any animal. The bowhead was an early whaling target. Its population was severely reduced before a 1966 moratorium.

Contributions by Jonas Poole, UtherSRG, and Pcb21.