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Rice’s whale

Balaenoptera ricei

Rice’s whale

See all species Formerly known as the “Gulf of Mexico sub-population” of Bryde’s whales, Rice’s whale was identified as a separate species in 2021. From the skull of an individual that stranded in 2019, scientists identified characteristics that distinguish them as a new species. It is named after the late biologist Dale Rice, the first…

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Omura’s whale

See all species Omura’s whale is a relatively small, super-streamlined, baleen whale.  They have striking and unique asymmetrical black and white markings on the head and jaw; the lower jaw is white on the right side and black on the left. Omura’s whale is the most recently identified whale species; they were first recognised from…

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Pygmy right whale

Pygmy right whale

See all species Pygmy right whales are the smallest of all filter-feeding whales. But weighing up to 4,500kg, they are no featherweights! Contrary to their somewhat misleading name, pygmy right whales aren’t actually ‘right whales’ and are placed in a separate family altogether. Male Female Calf Maximum length 6.1m 6.4m 2.2m Maximum weight 4,000kg 4,500kg…

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Sei whale

Sei whale

See all species Derived from the Norwegian word for Pollack, there are two subspecies of the little-known sei whale: the northern and the southern. The nicknames ‘pollack whale’, ‘coalfish whale’ and ‘sardine whale’ come from the fact that the appearance of sei whales often signalled the presence of large numbers of these fish. Other names:…

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North Pacific right whale © Brenda Kone

North Pacific right whale

See all species Hunted to the brink of extinction, the critically endangered North Pacific right whales were so-named because hunters singled them out as lucrative game. Literally, they were considered the “right” whales to kill. Relentlessly persecuted in the early 1900s, North Pacific right whales were nearly wiped off the face of the earth. Targeted…

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Southern right whale

Southern right whale

See all species Right whales were one of the first species to be hunted by whalers. Tragically, they became the target of huge scale whaling and were hunted to the brink of extinction. Hunting of sourthern rights was banned in 1935 but illegal Russian whaling continued until the 1970s. Whalers considered right whales to be…

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