The World’s Second Largest Animal


Fin whale details, footage, video & in-depth data: uncover the second largest animal on the earth! (Try the video of an in depth encounter with a fin whale to get an thought simply how massive this animal is!)

Fin Whale Fast Info

  • Different Title(s): Frequent Rorqual, Finback, Fin-backed Whale, Finner, Herring Whale, Razorback
  • Scientific title: Balaenoptera physalus
  • Kind of Animal: Mammal
  • Animal Household: Balaenopteridae
  • The place Discovered: Oceans worldwide
  • Common Size Northern Hemisphere: male 18.5m (61ft), feminine 20m (66ft); Southern Hemisphere: male 20.5m (67ft, feminine 22m (72ft)
  • Weight Northern Hemisphere: male 38.5 tonnes (42.5 tons), feminine 50.5 tonnes (55.5 tons); Southern hemisphere: male 52.5 tonnes (58 tons) and feminine 63 tonnes (69.5 tons)
  • Conservation Standing: Endangered
fin whale
The distinctive dorsal fin of the fin whale offers the species its title.

Fin Whale Enjoyable Info

  • The spout of the fin whale is formed like an inverted cone and is between 4.5 to 6m (15 to 20ft) excessive.
  • The fin whale is the second largest animal on the earth; solely the blue whale is bigger!
  • The fin whale’s title comes from its distinctive dorsal fin.
  • The colours of a fin whale’s head aren’t symmetrical; an uncommon characteristic within the animal world (try the overhead view additional down the web page).

Meet The Fin Whale: Introduction

The fin whale is the second largest animal on the earth after the blue whale. (The fin whale is due to this fact additionally the second largest mammal on the earth).

The longest recorded fin whale measured 27.3m (89.6ft) and the heaviest weighed practically 74 tonnes (82 tons). The fin whales within the Southern Hemisphere are bigger than these within the Northern Hemisphere.

You possibly can see a listing of ALL residing whales on this web page: Varieties of Whales

Shut Encounter With A Fin Whale

You may get an thought of the fin whale’s dimension within the video under:

Subspecies & Associated Animals

Two subspecies of fin whale with distinct bodily options and vocalizations are acknowledged: the northern fin whale (B. physalus physalus), discovered primarily within the North Atlantic, and the southern fin whale (P. physalus quoyi), discovered within the Southern Ocean.

A 3rd subspecies, the pygmy fin whale (B. physalus patachonica) has been urged, however will not be at present formally acknowledged.

The fin whale is within the household Balaenopteridae. Members of this household are also called rorqual whales, or simply rorquals. Rorquals have lengthy ridges of their pores and skin working from their mouths to their chests. The ridged pores and skin permits the whales’ mouths to broaden when consuming.

Different rorquals embrace the blue whale, humpback whale, and the frequent minke whale.

What Does The Fin Whale Look Like?

Fin whale from air showing asymmetrical coloration
Fin Whale from the Air. Discover the asymmetrical coloration of the pinnacle. (Photograph: Protected Resouces Division, Southwest Fisheries Science Heart, La Jolla, California.

The fin whale is extra streamlined than different rorquals. It has a flat, V-shaped head with paired blowholes, a ridged again (the supply of its nickname ‘razorback’), a curved dorsal fin, tapered flippers and a large tail fin. Being a rorqual, it has between 56 and 100 pleats or grooves in its pores and skin which prolong from under the mouth to the navel.

Fin Whale
A fin whale respiratory out.

The again of the fin whale is mild to darkish brownish-gray, whereas the underside and the flippers are white. A curious characteristic is the asymmetrical coloration of the pinnacle: the left aspect is uniformly grey whereas the precise aspect has white markings. It’s suspected that the asymmetrical pigmentation would possibly play a job in searching.

Fin Whale Info: Distribution And Migration

The fin whale inhabits all the key oceans worldwide from tropical to polar waters. It’s most frequently present in temperate and funky offshore waters.

It’s thought that the majority fin whale populations are migratory and swim to subtropical waters through the winter for mating and to the colder waters of the Arctic and Antarctic through the summer season for feeding. Some populations are resident year-round in areas just like the Gulf of California and the Mediterranean.


The fin whale is without doubt one of the quickest cetaceans on the earth. It has been nicknamed ‘the greyhound of the ocean’ on account of its streamlined form and excessive pace.

The fin whale can swim as quick as 56km/h (29mph) in brief bursts, and may maintain a pace of between 37km/h (23mph) and 41km/h (25mph) over longer intervals.

Social construction

In comparison with different rorquals, the fin whale is extra gregarious (social) and may typically be present in pairs or small teams of as much as 10 people.

Aggregations (teams) of over 100 fin whales have been recorded at feeding grounds. The social construction appears to rely largely on the supply of meals.

Fin Whale Info: Breeding

The fin whale mates through the winter months. The feminine offers beginning – sometimes to a single calf – at 2 or 3 yr intervals after a gestation interval of 11 to 12 months.

A new child calf measures 5.5 to six.5m (19.7 to 21.3ft). It size may have doubled by the point it has weaned at round 6 months of age. The calf follows its mom to the summer season feeding grounds and stays along with her for a yr.

Matings between fin whales and blue whales are recognized to happen, producing hybrids.


Alongside the vocalizations of the blue whale, the sounds emitted by the fin whale are the lowest-frequency animal vocalizations. They’re additionally loud – as much as 188 decibels – and will be heard by different fin whales so far as 850km (528mi) away.

Particular person sounds final one to 2 seconds, and fin whales repeat combos of those sounds in patterned sequences that final 7 to 12 minutes. Solely the males vocalize, suggesting that the sounds could also be part of a mating show.

Fin Whale Surfacing
Fin Whale Surfacing

What Do Fin Whales Eat?

The fin whale is a filter feeder. It makes use of baleen plates – comb-like buildings in its mouth – to filter meals from the water.

Baleen plate
Baleen plate

The fin whale can engulf as much as 70 cubic meters (18,000 gal) of water in a single gulp earlier than forcing the water again out by its baleen plates to entice its meals. The fin whale feeds on small education fish, squid and crustaceans comparable to krill.

The fin whale recurrently dives to depths under 200m (660ft) to feed. It feeds for round 3 hours per day, consuming as a lot as 1,800kg (4,000lb) of meals. The pleats of the throat broaden dramatically, permitting the whale to suit a considerable amount of food-laden water into its mouth.

When trying to find small education fish, the fin whale circles across the college at a excessive pace till the fish are packed right into a tight ball that the whale can simply engulf.

Is The Fin Whale Endangered?

The fin whale is rated ‘Endangered‘ by the IUCN.

The event of recent whaling strategies – comparable to sooner boats and the explosive harpoon – within the twentieth century depleted the fin whale inhabitants severely.

Varied estimates of the scale of the remaining inhabitants of fin whales have been given, starting from lower than 100,000 to round 119,000 people.

The fin whale has been protected by the Worldwide Whaling Fee (IWC) for the reason that Nineteen Seventies within the Southern Ocean and North Pacific, and since 1986 within the North Atlantic. Regardless of this safety, searching on a small scale has since been carried out by Greenland, Iceland and Japan.

Along with searching, threats to the fin whale embrace:

  • Vessel strikes: The fin whale is extra generally struck by vessels than different massive whale species.
  • By-catch: The fin whale sometimes will get tangled in fishing gear.

Fin Whale Info: Conclusion

We hope that you’ve loved discovering out concerning the fin whale. You’ll find out about extra wonderful ocean animals on the next pages:


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