PORT PHILLIP BAY


Southern Right Whale 

Eubalaena australis

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

See below for information.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Class:
Mammalia
Order:
Cetacea
Family:
Balaenidae
Genus:
Eubalaena
Species:
australis

General Description

Body blue-black with white patches underneath. Head wide, with white callosities growths above and below the mouth and near the eyes. Mouth curves down. Water spray from blowhole is a "V" shape, about one spray per minute, less than 5 m high. Up to 18 m long.

Biology

Southern Right Whales can dive underwater for about 15 minutes. They do not feed in Australian waters. The females give birth to a young calf every three years, which swims at the mother's side for up to four months.

Humans interactions include:
Deaths have been reported from being tangled in fishing nets and from collisions with ships.

Habitat

Temperate and polar oceans, near coastlines.

Open water

Distribution guide

Southern temperate oceans including southern Australia. Potentially near Port Phillip, recorded from Victoria.

Species Group

Mammals Whales and dolphins

Depth

Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

Surface Midwater

Max Size

18 m

Diet

Plankton or Particles

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Critically Endangered
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Endangered
  • IUCN Red List : Least Concern
  • CITES : Trade restrictions (Appendix I)

Author

article author Fitzgerald, E.

Dr. Erich Fitzgerald is a Senior Curator of palaeontology at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Jefferies, R.

Dr. Ryan Jefferies is a volunteer online editor at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Fitzgerald, E. & Jefferies, R., 2011, Southern Right Whale, Eubalaena australis, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 19 Oct 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/4177

Text: creative commons cc by licence