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Bowhead Whale
Scientific Name:
Balaena mysticetus
Family Name:
50-60 feet
80-110 tons
Life Span:
At least 40 years, but perhaps longer.
copepods, amphipods, euphausiids, and various other crustaceans
HOME >> WATER SPECIES >> WHALES >> Bowhead Whale

Bowhead Whale

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Bowhead Whale Description
  Found only in Arctic and sub-arctic waters, the bowhead whale has a massive body protected from the icy waters by a layer of blubber up to 2 feet thick. Its head is immense; it makes up nearly one-third of the bowhead's total body length. Its mouth can be as long as 16 feet (4.9 m), 12 feet (3.7 m) high, and 8 feet (2.4 m) wide and its tongue weighs about 1 ton (907 kg). In profile, a bowhead whale’s head is triangular in shape, which may be an adaptation that enables the whale to break through the ice to breathe. There are 2 blowholes located at the highest point of the head that send 2 bushy, V-shaped blows 13 feet (4 m) in the air. While swimming, only the bowhead whale’s triangular head and rounded back show above the surface of the water.  
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