Animalia > Chordata > Mammalia > Cetacea > Balaenidae > Balaena > Balaena mysticetus

Balaena mysticetus (bowhead whale; Bowhead; black right whale)

Language: French

Wikipedia Abstract

The bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) is a species of the family Balaenidae, in suborder Mysticeti, and genus Balaena, once thought to include the right whale. A stocky dark-colored whale without a dorsal fin, it can grow 14 to 18 m (46 to 59 ft) in length. This thick-bodied species can weigh from 75 to 100 tonnes (74 to 98 long tons; 83 to 110 short tons). They live entirely in fertile Arctic and sub-Arctic waters, unlike other whales that migrate to low latitude waters to feed or reproduce. The bowhead was also known as the Greenland right whale or Arctic whale. American whalemen called them the steeple-top, polar whale, or Russia or Russian whale. The bowhead has the largest mouth of any animal.
View Wikipedia Record: Balaena mysticetus

EDGE Analysis

Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 18.13
EDGE Score: 2.95


Adult Weight [2]  110.23 tons (100,000.00 kg)
Birth Weight [2]  1,984.17 lbs (900.00 kg)
Female Maturity [2]  22 years 6 months
Male Maturity [2]  22 years 6 months
Diet [3]  Carnivore (Invertebrates)
Diet - Invertibrates [3]  100 %
Forages - Marine [3]  100 %
Gestation [2]  1 year 1 month
Litter Size [2]  1
Litters / Year [2]  0
Maximum Longevity [2]  211 years
Migration [1]  Interoceanic
Water Biome [1]  Coastal
Weaning [2]  1 year

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Ib 12402936 Alaska, United States
Ivvavik National Park II 2382752 Yukon, Canada
Kandalaksha State Nature Reserve 174283 Murmansk, Karelia, Russia
Komandorsk Biosphere Reserve 9016082 Kamchatka Krai , Russia    
Kronotskiy Biosphere Reserve 361480 Russia  
Sirmilik National Park II 5475284 Canada
Ukkusiksalik National Park II   Nunavut, Canada
Wapusk National Park II 2614324 Manitoba, Canada
Wrangel Island State Nature Reserve 5499701 Chukotka, Russia    

Prey / Diet

Anonyx compactus[4]
Atylus atlassovi[4]
Boreogadus saida (Polar cod)[4]
Chionoecetes opilio (snow crab)[4]
Diastylis bidentata[4]
Eualus fabricii (Arctic eualid)[4]
Hippomedon denticulatus[4]
Pontoporeia femorata[4]
Thysanoessa inermis[4]
Thysanoessa raschii (Arctic krill)[4]


Homo sapiens (man)[4]
Orcinus orca (Killer Whale)[4]


Parasite of 
Trichinella spiralis (pork worm)[4]


Parasitized by 
Anisakis simplex[5]
Bolbosoma balaenae[5]
Brachycladium goliath[5]
Crassicauda crassicauda <Unverified Name>[5]
Odontobius ceti[5]
Phyllobothrium delphini[5]
Priapocephalus grandis[5]
Tetrabothrius affinis[5]

Range Map

East Pacific; Eastern Atlantic Ocean; Indo-West Pacific; Western Atlantic Ocean;



Attributes / relations provided by
1Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at
2de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
3Hamish Wilman, Jonathan Belmaker, Jennifer Simpson, Carolina de la Rosa, Marcelo M. Rivadeneira, and Walter Jetz. 2014. EltonTraits 1.0: Species-level foraging attributes of the world's birds and mammals. Ecology 95:2027
4Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
5Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
Protected Areas provided by Biological Inventories of the World's Protected Areas in cooperation between the Information Center for the Environment at the University of California, Davis and numerous collaborators.
Specially protected natural territories of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation
Images provided by Wikimedia Commons licensed under a Creative Commons License
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Weather provided by NOAA METAR Data Access