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Fin Whale
Characteristics
Scientific Name:
Balaenoptera physalus
Family Name:
Balaenopteridae
Size:
78-88 feet
Weight:
50-70 tons
Color:
light gray to brownish-black on its back and sides.
Life Span:
85-90 years
Diet:
krill and schooling fish
HOME >> WATER SPECIES >> WHALES >> Fin Whale


Fin Whale

Fin Whale Snapshot
 
 
 
Fin Whale Picture Gallery
 
 
 
Fin Whale Description
 

The fin whale is long, sleek, and streamlined, with a V-shaped head which is flat on top. A single ridge extends from the blowhole to the tip of the rostrum (upper jaw). There is a series of 56-100 pleats or grooves on the underside of its body extending from under the lower jaw to the navel.

The fin whale is one of the rorquals, a family that includes the humpback whale, blue whale, Bryde's whale, sei whale, and minke whale. The fin, or finback whale is second only to the blue whale in size and weight. Among the fastest of the great whales, it is capable of bursts of speed of up to 23 mph (37 km/hr) leading to its description as the "greyhound of the sea." Its most unusual characteristic is the asymmetrical coloring of the lower jaw, which is white or creamy yellow on the right side and mottled black on the left side. Fin whales are found in all oceans of the world, though they seem to prefer temperate, arctic, and antarctic waters to tropical sea.

 
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