Name: Fin Whale
Scientific Name : Balaenoptera physalus
Class : Mammalia
Family : Balaenopteridae
Order : Cetacea (suborder) - Mysticeti
Shape : Second largest animal on earth. Long streamlined body, and shows very little scarring. The asymmetry characteristic of a Fin Whale's head can be very extensive and, on some animals, the whiteness of the right side continues onto the upper 'lip' and even to the side of the neck. 56 - 100 throat grooves. Body free of mottling.
Fins : Distinct ridge from dorsal fin to flukes, hence alternative name 'Razorback'. Small, backward-sloping fin.
Length : Adult measures between 18 - 22 metres and newborns between 6 - 6.5 metres.
Weight : Adult weighs between 30 - 80 tons and the calf 2 tons.
Colour : Variable greyish-white chevron behind head on each side (more prominent on right), with a silvery-grey, dark grey, or brownish-black body colour. White underside.
Diet : Krill, fish and octopus.
Population : Most common in the Southern Hemisphere, least common in the tropics. The Fin Whale was heavily exploited by the whaling industry and its population has been severely depleted.
Migration : Some populations may migrate between relatively warm, low latitudes in winter and cooler, high latitudes in summer.
Habits : It sometimes breach clear of the water. More commonly seen in small groups of 1 - 7 than other rorqual whales.