Facts about Bryde's whales

Factfile


Scientific name: Balaenoptera brydei
Family: Balaenopteridae
Range: Warmer Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans
Habitat: Oceanic waters
Status: Locally common
Population: Less than 100,000
Diet: Schooling fish and sometimes krill and copepods
Length: 12-15m, females larger than males
Weight: 13-22 tons


Identification


Flukes: Commonly arches its tail stock before diving. Flukes are elongate with a notch in the middle. Does not raise flukes.
Dorsal fin: Prominent dorsal fin is set about three-quarters back along the body and has a very arched trailing edge
Flippers: Slender and comparatively small, smokey grey above and below
Shape of head: Broad and flattened, narrow in profile. The top of the head has 3 parallel ridges (other rorqual whales have 1)
Body: Streamlined body is long, back and flanks are smokey grey. Underside ranges from white or pale yellow on throat to blue-grey or creamy grey near vent
Blow: Tall, narrow blow up to 4m high
Group size: Found singly, in pairs or in small pods of up to 7. As many as 30 may gather on good feeding grounds
Behaviour: An erratic swimmer, at the surface its sudden changes in direction are like those of a large dolphin. Can be very acrobatic, breaching near vertically several times in a row. When undisturbed, dives of 1-8 minutes are often followed by 4-7 blows


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