Bowhead whales are large whales with huge heads. Their name comes from their arched mouth, which is full of bristles called baleen that they use to strain their food – tiny organisms called plankton – from the water they intake. Bowhead whales are largely black, with white patches on their chin and occasionally near their tail.
Bowhead whales can grow up to 60 feet in length, and can weigh up to 100 tons.
Like all whales, their nostrils are located on the top of their heads, and are called a “blowhole”. Through this they can spout a spray of up to 20 feet high when they surface to take a breath.
To help them stay warm in their cold Arctic habitat, bowhead whales have a thick layer of fat called blubber that is the thickest of any known animal. It can be almost 20 inches thick.