T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Whale (Pygmy right whale) Caperea marginata

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Infraorder: Cetacea
Family: Cetotheriidae
Subfamily: Neobalaeninae
Genus: Caperea
Species: C. marginata
Binomial name: Caperea marginata
Common name: Pygmy right whale 

The pygmy right whale (Caperea marginata) is a member of the cetotheres a family of baleen whales, which until 2012 were thought to be extinct. The pygmy right whale is found in the Southern Ocean in the lower reaches of the Southern Hemisphere. It is believed to be circumpolar, living in a band from about 30°S to 55°S in areas with surface water temperatures between 5 and 20 ° C.
It is the smallest of the baleen whales. An adult pygmy right whale is >6 meters in length. Distinguishing features include a small dorsal fin situated far back, and two throat grooves. Each of these features is uncharacteristic for all species of right whale, except the pygmy right whale. Its body is a dark grey dorsally and lighter grey ventrally, commonly with a pair of chevron-shaped lighter patches behind the eyes. 
Like most smaller baleen whales it feeds on krill. Its huge mouth takes in massive quantities of water and then filters the krill out through baleen plates. 
The colouring and shape of the pygmy right whale, dark grey dorsally and lighter gray ventrally, commonly with a pair of chevron-shaped lighter patches behind the eyes. 

  

A diagram showing the size difference between a Pygmy right whale and a human.

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/