Northern Atlantic right whale Eubalaena glacialis Müller, 1776

Suborder: Mysticeti Family: Balaenidae

Sightings in Madeira

Only 2 record from January 1959 and February 1967

ID characteristics

Large, uniformly dark, rotund and finless body with very big round head covered in callosities (looking like white patches).
Large, paddle-shaped flippers and pointed flukes with distinct notch in the middle.

Surface behaviour

Slow swimmer often exposing huge head.
Frequently inquisitive, approachable and demonstrative of its acrobacies


Mainly in the North Atlantic, between parallels 60º and 30º North.
In cold waters of temperate and subpolar region of the North Atlantic Ocean.


Alone or in groups up to 20 individuals


Krill and crustaceans


Max length: 18.3 m
Adult weight: 30 to 80 ton


Wide V-shaped up to 5 meters high

IUCN Status: Endangered
Madeira frequency status: Only 2 records

Other languages common names

ENG - Northern Right Whale
GER - Atlantische Nordkaper
FRA - Baleine franche de l'Atlantique Nord, Baleine de Biscaye, Baleine des Basques
ESP - Ballena franca glacial, Ballena de los Vascos, Ballena franca del Norte, Ballenga
SWE - Nordkapare
DAN - Nordkaper, Biscayahval, Nordhval
ITA - Balena franca nordatlantica
NED - Noordkaper
NOR - Nordkaper
POL - Wieloryb biskajski, wal biskajski
POR - Baleia franca do Atlântico norte

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