Whale of the Week: Bowhead Whale (Endangered Species).

*Bowhead whales live in small pods exclusively in the Arctic Seas.

*They migrate North in the spring to feed, and South in the fall to breed.

*They measure about 60 feet in length (as long as five parked cars) and weight between 80 to 110 tons!

*Their body is blue-black but they have a white patch below the mouth.

*They have no dorsal fin.

*Their fat, or blubber, measures up to 28 inches thick, which helps keep them warm in the icy waters.

Bowhead whales are also baleen whales. This means that they don’t have any teeth so they filter their food from the sea.
Bowhead whales have approximately 350 pairs of baleen in their mouth and these can measure up to 10 feet in length. They often eat Krill or tiny crustaceans like copepods.
If you’re wondering how a giant whale can live off of such small creatures try to remember that they swim with their mouth open and eat continuously.

The Bowhead whale was once believed to live about 40 years, but more recent research has suggested that a lifespan of 150 to 200 years is possible.

*Their Genus and Species is classified as Balaena_mysticetus.

Sadly, Bowhead Whales are an endangered species and experts estimate only some 8 to 12 thousand are left in the world.
With recent efforts to keep whale hunters away, it is believed that reproduction of this specific species will rise -- hopefully delaying complete extinction.

References:
American Cetacean Society: Bowhead Whales Fact Sheet
Alaska Department of Fish and Game: Bowhead Whale