Bowhead whale Facts

Bowhead whale Facts
Bowhead whale belongs to the group of baleen whales. It is also known as Greenland Right Whale. Bowhead whale can be found only in the northern hemisphere. It inhabits cold waters of the Arctic sea. Bowhead whales were massively hunted in the past because of their meat and oil. Even though hunting of bowhead whales is prohibited by law today, remaining bowhead whales are in danger because of the increased boat traffic, pollution of the ocean and climate changes. Population of the bowhead whales in the wild is drastically reduced and these animals are listed as endangered.
Interesting Bowhead whale Facts:
Bowhead whale can reach 45 to 60 feet in length and 75 to 100 tons of weight. Females are slightly larger than males.
Bowhead whales have dark bluish-black color of the skin with white patches on the jaw, belly and tail.
Bowhead whale has stocky body with extremely large head. Jaw is arched and it looks like a bow (hence the name "bowhead"). Bowhead whale does not have dorsal fin.
Mouth of bowhead whale is equipped with baleen plates that can reach 15 feet in length. Bowhead whale filters the food from the sea water using these plates.
Bowhead whale has two blowholes on the top of the head. V-shaped blow of condensed air can reach 20 feet in height.
Diet of bowhead whale consists of zooplankton and small fish. Bowhead whale can eat 10 metric tons of crustaceans each year.
Bowhead whale has 1 ½ feet thick layer of blubber that protects it from freezing in the cold Arctic waters.
Bowhead whales travel on their own or in the groups of up to six animals.
Bowhead whales produce different sounds that are used for communication during migration (from summer to winter habitats) and mating season.
Bowhead whales are able to break one foot thick layer of ice to create breathing holes. They can stay 40 minutes under the water without returning to the surface to breathe.
Besides humans, main predators of bowhead whales are killer whales.
Although bowhead whales can mate throughout the whole year, mating usually takes place from late winter to early spring. Majority of babies is born during the spring and early summer.
Pregnancy in females lasts 13 to 14 months and ends with one baby (calf). Young bowhead whale has 11 to 18 feet in length and 2000 pounds of weight at birth. It depends on the mother's milk 9 to 12 months.
Bowhead whales reach sexual maturity at the age of 20 years and reproduce slowly, every 3 to 4 years. Because of that, reduced population of bowhead whales in the wild cannot be returned to the previous level easily.
According to the latest scientific analysis, bowhead whales can survive up to 200 years in the wild.

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