Bowhead Whale

Illustration of Bowhead Whale

Bowhead whales are more adapted to living with sea ice than any other large whale. They have blubber 1.5 ft. (0.4 meter) thick that keeps them warm. Their elevated blowholes are used for breathing through the small holes found in sea ice. However, the adaptation that is the most visible is there huge head. Padded by blubber and containing a bony skull, bowheads can break through ice more than 2 ft. (0.6 meter) thick using their heads! A few Alaska Native villages hunt these whales, where they are an important part of local subsistence food and culture.


Last updated: March 2, 2017

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