In addition to the various callosities, there are other features that prove useful in identifying individual right whales. These include:

  • Crenulations along the lower lip (also called lip “ridges”)
  • Distinctive white patches on the belly and chin
  • A dip or depression in the rostrun that can be seen in profile
  • Erosion of the callosity in the front of the bonnet refered to as “tooth decay”
  • Flukes that curve upwards as the whale dives
  • White blow holes
  • White fluke tips
  • Gray lines behind the blow holes
  • Divots in their backs
  • White scars from a host of causes (including past entanglements in fishing gear, ship strikes, attacks by killer whales or false killer whales, skin lesions, and other unknown causes)

Some of these features are inherited (such as belly patterns and lip crenulations) and others are aquired during the whale’s life (such as scars and divots). With particularly difficult matches (poor photographs, or comparing aerial images to shipboard), these features provide necessary additional information that allows a researcher to confirm a match. See examples of features and their identification codes.