What does a pygmy right whale look like?

A team of whale scientists are going to be dissecting a stranded pygmy right whale at Te Papa next week.

But what does a pygmy right whale look like? how big is it?

Here’s a picture of a pygmy right whale (Caperea marginata) that stranded in Golden Bay, Nelson and was later refloated. It’s about 3 metres long.

Pygmy right whale, Golden Bay

Photo courtesy of the Department of Conservation

In Whales|Tohorā you can see a skeleton of a pygmy right whale hanging in the exhibition.

Come and visit and see if you can find it – the exhibition closes Sunday 11 May.

2 Responses

  1. Anton

    Pygmy right whales are the smallest of all the baleen whales. Although only distantly related to Southern right whales (that is how they get there name). Compared to a Southern right whale that may grow to 17m, a Pygmy right whale only grows to about 6.5m, so tiny by comparison. like a Southern right whale, pygmy right whales have an arched jaw, however unlike their larger relatives they have a dorsal fin.

    Pygmy right whales are about 2m long when they are born.

    The Tasman sea appears to be a very important breeding ground for this species.

    They are only found in the Southern hemisphere. They are mostly known from stranded animals with very few at sea sightings. Very little is still known about this species.

    They have some very unusual anatomical features compared to other whales, such as unique overlapping broad and flat ribs, with unique muscular attachments overlapping, an assymetric larynx and we are still finding out more.

  2. about snakes

    wow i have never sen this animal before.. its not relay a pygmy when is 3 meters but in whale scale he definitely is little


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