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Photographer: Paul Osmond  (see this users gallery)

The tail fluke of a Southern Right Whale (Eubalaena australis) out of the water. Image taken in Walker Bay from the cliffs at De Kelder near Gansbaai, South Africa.
The Southern Right Whale, Eubalaena australis is a large black stocky whale that has a number of features making identification relatively easy. They reach a maximum length of 17m and weight of 80 - 90 tonnes. It is the only large whale that lacks a dorsal fin. It has short blunt paddle-shaped flippers and the broad head carries a number of white callosities (raised rough patches of skin) that form individual identifiable pattern. This latter feature enables researchers to gather vital life history information on this species. This distinctive appearance combined with its slow moving behaviour make it difficult to confuse with any other species. The common name refers to the fact that it was the favoured target of the early whalers, the 'right ' whale to hunt.
From July till December the magnificent Southern Right Whales migrates to Walker bay to give birth and mate. The De Kelders cliffs are arguably one of the best spots in the world for land based whale watching.

· Date: Sun December 24, 2006 · Reference ID: /22006-07-04_00-34-43_1 · Views: 4705 ·
Keywords: balaenopteridae baleen rorqual mysticeti cetacea marine mammal pelagic filter feeder large endangered rare tail fin water splash slap


Common Octopus - Octopus vulgaris
Paul Osmond

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