Tricks to recognize a Southern Right Whale
Southern Right Whale
Length adult: 14 -16m (with females larger than males).
Right whales are hard to confuse with other large whales.
Dark with white ventral patch. There are variations in pigmentation patterns, brindle animals are usually male. Some animals have grey patterns and are usually female.
No dorsal fin.
Broad and rectangular.
Large head covered in white, irregular growths (callosities).
Smooth concave trailing edge, distinct central notch.
Typically, 1-3 min at surface preparing to dive, sinks head first. Slow swimmers (average 1.7 km/hr, max 3.6km/hr).
Present mostly during winter months on most of the South African coast, but can be found year round off the West Coast.