General Description

Body dark grey above and white-grey below. Often white to grey paler streaks and bands from the underside extending up the sides. Mouth curves down, moderately arched compared to other right whales. Water spray from blowhole is a thin column to short puff. Up to 6.5 m long.


These whales are so unlike all other mysticetes that they are classified in their own family and are no longer considered as one of the right whales despite their name. They are the smallest of the baleen whales, at just over 6 m long and weighing up to 3400 kg. Individuals usually dive for four minutes and can swim at speeds of about 13 km/h (8 knots). Large aggregations of dozens of pygmy right whales have been sighted offshore far western Victoria.


Southern temperate oceans. Potentially near Port Phillip, recorded from Victoria, mainly in the west of the State near Portland.


Temperate and subtropical waters, to depth of 1400 m.

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