Fin Whale

Balaenoptera Physalus

The fin whale has a very long, streamlined body with a V-shaped, flat-topped head, a pointed snout and a single ride, like a blue whale,s, extending from the paired blowholes to the tip of the rostrum. The back is distinctly ridged from the dorsal fin to the flukes, a characteristic from which this whale obtains its other common name, ‘razorback’. Between 56 and 100 throat pleats or grooves run from the tip of the jaw to the navel.

Key Characteristicfin-whale

  • Asymmetrical jaw colouring
  • Conspicuous long, slender body
  • V-shaped head
  • Longitudinal ridge on head
  • Small falcate fin, set far back
  • Tall, narrow blow, 4-6 m high
  • Rarely shows flukes on dives
  • Dorsal fin visible after blow
  • Indifferent to boats

Dorsal Fin:  falcate and relatively prominent located about three quarters of the way along the back.

Flippers: small and capered, about twelve percent of total body length

Baleen Plates: 260-480 suspended on each side of the mouth. Length 76cm, width 30cm. The baleen on the left side of the mouth shows in alternating bands of creamy yellow and blue-grey. On the right side, plates showing toward the front of the mouth are all creamy yellow.

Behavior: Fin whales are capable of speeds up to 35Km/h.  with brief bursts of up to 45km/h when alarmed. When feeding, they move at  about 2-6km/h and are often so absorbed in this activity they give no song of being aware of an approaching vessel.

Fin whale rarely breath. when surfacing after a dive, the dorsal fin is visible soon after the spout. The whale woll blow at least twice , more likely several times on every visit to the surface. The rail remains submerged during the surfacing sequence.

This species rarely raises its flukes when it begins dive. Dives normally last 10-15 min, though some as brief as 30sec. have been observed. When feeling at the surface , the surface , the mean blow interval is about 50 sec.

Group Size : solitary or pairs . Occasional groups of up to twenty.

Diet: small pelagic crustaceans small schooling fish and small squid. Fin whales aree active lunge feeders and perger to turn on to their right sides when feeding

Dive Depth: 300-500m

Distribution: Fin whales are migratory and mainly inhabit oceanic waters. they can only be seen close to shore where the coastal waters are deep.