Review and images by Suspsy; edited by bmathison1972
The bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus), also known as the Greenland right whale, is the bearer of multiple titles: largest Arctic denizen, largest mouth of any animal, thickest blubber of any animal, and longest baleen plates of any cetacean. It is also thought to be the longest living of all mammals, with a maximum lifespan of more than 200 years!
The 2014 CollectA bowhead whale turned out to be a lot more massive than I thought it would be. It measures an impressive 23 cm long, 7.5 cm wide at the fins, and about 6 cm deep, making it one of the biggest beasts in the Sealife series (scale roughly 1:52 and 1:86). Very solid as well. This is one of those heavyweight class figures that would really hurt if it fell and landed on your foot!
The bowhead’s main colour is black with a white stripe on the underside of the tail, white around the blowholes and glossy black eyes, and white on the humongous lower jaw. It is sculpted with its tail bent to the left, its fins swept back, and its mouth halfway open, exposing the rows of baleen hanging down from the upper jaw.
As with many whale figures, this surface on this bowhead is smooth to the touch. The tail is keeled above and below, however, and the baleen plates have a fine ribbed texture. The long slit on the underbelly may indicate that this individual is a female. Female bowheads grow larger on average than males, with the largest scientifically measured specimen being 18 metres (59 feet) in length.
This bowhead features the characteristic cleft tail flukes, paired blowholes, no dorsal fin, and most importantly, an enormous triangular head representing about a third of the animal’s total length. It is this last feature from which the bowhead derives its name, and it uses its stupendous skull to batter through the Arctic sea ice in order to breathe. The baleen inside its mouth looks appropriately large and realistic, and it’s easy to imagine how effective an such adaptation is for catching zooplankton. The bowhead whale can consume up to two tons of each day. Its only natural enemy is the killer whale.
The CollectA bowhead whale is a stupendous toy that is sure to please cetaceans fans of all ages. Definitely a worthy purchase.