Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Fall and Rise of the Right Whale

SUNNIER DAYS A North Atlantic right whale and calf off Florida. The whale remains endangered, but its population has more than tripled in a century.

North Atlantic right whales, which can grow up to 55 feet long and weigh up to 70 tons, were the “right” whales for 18th- and 19th-century whalers because they are rich in oil and baleen, move slowly, keep close to shore and float when they die.

They were long ago hunted to extinction in European waters, and by 1900 perhaps only 100 or so remained in their North American range, from feeding grounds off Maritime Canada and New England to winter calving grounds off the Southeastern coast.

Steering ClearGraphic Steering Clear
A Slow Comeback for the Right WhaleAudio Slide Show
A Slow Comeback for the Right Whale

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