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Balaena mysticetus   Linnaeus, 1758

bowhead whale
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Image of Balaena mysticetus (bowhead whale)
Balaena mysticetus
Picture by FAO

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | CoL | ITIS | WoRMS

Mammalia | Cetacea | Balaenidae

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Pelagic.  Polar; 90°N - 0°S, 180°W - 180°E

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Introductions

Pacific Ocean, Northern Atlantic and the Arctic. [Bering-Chukchi-Beaufort Sea population: LR/cd; Okhotsk Sea population: EN, D; Svalbard-Barents Sea (Spitsbergen) population: CR, D: IUCN 2010 (Ref. 84930)].

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm Max length : 1,800 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 1394); 2000 cm TL (female); max. published weight: 100.0 t (Ref. 1394)

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Lives among the pack ice, migrating to the high arctic summer, but retreating southward in winter with the advancing ice edge. Feeds on small to medium-sized invertebrates, especially krill and copepods. Bowhead whales were heavily hunted for several centuries. Today they are partially protected by the IWC. The current world population is still threatened by small-scale hunting by Alaskan, Canadian, and Russian natives. In addition, there are various forms of habitat degradation, including disturbance from oil and gas exploration and development activities (Ref. 1394). Lives among the pack ice, migrating to the high arctic summer, but retreating southward in winter with the advancing ice edge. Feeds on small to medium-sized invertebrates, especially krill and copepods (Ref. 1394).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Main reference References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Jefferson, T.A., S. Leatherwood and M.A. Webber. 1993. (Ref. 1394)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 115185)

CITES status (Ref. 108899)

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Threat to humans

Human uses

Fisheries: commercial
FAO(fisheries: production) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

More information

Countries
FAO areas
Ecosystems
Occurrences
Introductions
Stocks
Ecology
Diet
Food items
Common names
Synonyms
Predators
Reproduction
Maturity
Spawning
Fecundity
Eggs
Egg development
Age/Size
Growth
Length-weight
Length-length
Morphology
Larvae
Abundance
References
Mass conversion

Internet sources

BHL | BOLD Systems | CISTI | DiscoverLife | FAO(fisheries: species profile; publication : search) | GenBank (genome, nucleotide) | GloBI | GOBASE | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | ispecies | PubMed | Scirus | Tree of Life | uBio | uBio RSS | Wikipedia (Go, Search) | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Vulnerability (Ref. 71543)
Very high vulnerability (88 of 100)
Price category (Ref. 80766)
Unknown