How many northern right whales are left

Northern duck whale

What do northern duck whales look like?

Northern duck whales are one of the best-studied species of beaked whale. They are large and strong and have a spherical forehead with a large melon. This becomes more and more pronounced in male individuals with increasing age. They have a clearly separated beak, which is equipped with sharp, pointy teeth. Males have two small, conical teeth at the tip of their lower jaw, but they do not always break through.

The body color is chocolate or olive brown to gray, the head being lighter and the dorsal fin darker than the rest of the body. The underside and the flanks are cream-colored. Older animals have bright, linear scars and round spots from cigar shark bites. Young animals are darker. Its beak is more rounded and the melon is smaller.

Northern duck whales have small, pointed pectoral fins that are placed in suitable "pectoral fin pockets" when diving. Their pointed, triangular or sickle-shaped dorsal fin sits far back on the body. The caudal fin is broad and unnotched, its trailing edge is arched inward.

What is your everyday life like?

Northern duck whales are curious and often approach boats that they can hang out next to for some time. Sometimes they show acrobatic behavior, clap their tail fin on the water or jump.

Their groups consist of four to 20 individuals and the social structure is mainly characterized by constant dissolution and the formation of new groups, but long-term mergers have also been observed.

The world population of this species is unknown.

What do they feed on?

The northern duck whale's favorite food is the deep-sea squid, which tests their diving skills. In search of their prey, the whales dive up to 1,400 meters and stay under water for up to two hours. However, most of the time a dive only lasts about ten minutes. Fish (for example herring), shrimp, sea cucumber and starfish can also be part of their diet.

Where do you live?

It is believed that northern duck whales do not make great migrations. They can be found in the cool waters of the North Atlantic: from New England to South Greenland in the west and from the Strait of Gibraltar to Spitsbergen in the east. A local population of northern duck whales in Gully Canyon for Nova Scotia has already been researched a little more closely.

Commercial whaling has drastically reduced stocks in the past. While large-scale hunting is no longer practiced today, northern duck whales are still killed in the Faroe Islands driven hunts. As with other beaked whales, this species is believed to be susceptible to the effects of noise caused by human activities.