Minke Whale

In the British Isles the minke whale is the most commonly seen whale.

It is the smallest of the roqual whales - a group of whales which have expandable pleated throats, however it is also the most abundant with a global population of around one million.  Minke Whales grow to 10 metres in length, are brown/grey in colour on top and white underneath, and can be distinguished from other roquals at close range by the usual appearance of white banding on their short and pointed flippers.  They are torpedo shaped, with a small single curved dorsal fin set far back towards their tail, which can help with identification from a distance.  They live alone or in small groups and can dive for 20 mins however it is uncommon to see the blow from this whale due to it beginning to exhale as it nears the sea surface, which minimises the blow out of water.   Like other roquals Minke whale feed mainly in cold water regions eating much less during breeding where they migrate to the tropics.  Instead of teeth, however, they have hundreds of baleen plates hanging down 20-30 cm from the top jaw from which they sieve small fish and planktonic animals from the water.

Click here for Long-Finned Pilot Whale

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