Southern right whales were spotted enjoying the cool waters of the Atlantic Seaboard this week. Photographer Justin Sullivan captured a little pod diving in and out of the ocean. They are known for their gargantuan size and remain a fascination for many.
Between June and October every year they put on a spectacular showcase on the Cape Whale Coast (Hermanus). Thousands of visitors drive to the seaside town to watch them frolic in the ocean, they are playful in nature and everyone is guaranteed a theatrical performance. You can also witness the mammals birth and take care of their newborn calves during this season.
It is indeed a sight to behold. There are only around 3000 of these majestic creatures left due to whale hunting, which is now banned. This species grows to 15 metres in length when they are fully developed and weigh over 47 tonnes.
The largest Southern Right whale was recorded at 18 metres in length and 80 tonnes in weight – they can age to almost 100 years.
How to spot them?
They are recognised by callosities (barnacle like formations) on their heads and blowholes. Four percent of them are completely white when they are born and some stay white. They also have a distinctive v-shaped blowhole on their heads.
Southern Rights suffer from sunburn and skin cancer and therefore shy away from bright and warm days.
— Sullivan Photography (@Sullphotography) March 13, 2018
Video/Picture: Twitter/Justin Sullivan