Check out this great example of the right whale's characteristic V-shaped blow (see image). The shape of a blow can help scientists distinguish different species of cetaceans when they are seen from afar. For example, the finback whales' blow is tall and slender rising about 20 feet above the surface of the water. The humpback whale has a short bushy blow. The sperm whale has a blow that veers to the left due to the angle of its blowhole.
You probably recognize the whale in the left of this image from a previous blog.
The New England Aquarium is part of a massive collaborative effort to protect critically endangered North Atlantic right whales from ship strikes, gear entanglements and other threats. All work conducted and images collected in US waters are under scientific permit from NMFS. All right whale research conducted in Canadian waters are under scientific permit from Fisheries and Oceans Canada.