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



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


Slender and comparatively small, smokey grey above and below.

Head Shape

Broad and flattened, narrow in profile. The top of the head has 3 parallel ridges (other rorqual whales have 1)


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.


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.


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.