Name : Minke Whale
Scientific Name : Balaenoptera acutorostrata
Class : Mammalia
Family : Balaenopteridae
Order : Cetacea (suborder) - Mysticeti
Shape : The head shape and relatively unscarred skin should be sufficient to tell a Minke from most beaked whales. Sharply pointed snout. 50 - 60 throat grooves, usually end just behind flippers. Longitudinal ridge on head with 2 distinct blowholes.
Fins : Flukes have slightly concave trailing edges with a slight notch in the middle, with pointed tips. The dorsal fin is the tallest of all baleen whales, relative to body size. Slender, relatively short flippers, one-eighth of body length.
Length : Adults measure between 7 - 10 metres and the newborn between 2.4 - 2.8 metres.
Weight : Adults weigh between 5 - 10 tons and newborns 350 kg.
Colour : Animals in the northern hemisphere have a white band on the flippers, but this is absent on many southern hemisphere animals. White, pale grey, or pale brown underside.
Diet : Can sometimes be seen feeding near the surface beneath a flock of feeding seabirds. May feed around headlands and small islands.
Population : Three geographically isolated populations are recognized; in the North Pacific, North Atlantic, and southern hemisphere. The Minke is now the only baleen whale being hunted commercially.
Migration : Migrations vary from year to year. Some populations appear to be resident year-round, and recent evidence suggest that individuals may have exclusive home ranges in some areas.
Habits : Group size varies from 1 - 3, occasionally up to 100 or more at good feeding areas. Often enters estuaries, bays, and inlets. Movements underwater unpredictable, and it may vanish without trace. Sometimes spyhops and breaches.
Distribution : Found virtually worldwide, but probably not continuous distribution. Generally less common in the tropics than in cooler waters.
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