Fin Whale

Balaenoptera physalus

Length

Up to 78 feet (24 m) in the Northern Hempisphere Up to 88 feet (26.8 m) in the Southern Hempishere

Weight

50-70 tons (45,000-63,500 kg)

Distribution

Found in all oceans, they may migrate to subtropical waters for mating and calving in the winter

Population

Endangered – 40,000 in the Northern Hemisphere; 15,000-20,000 in the Southern Hemisphere

Description

The Fin Whale is the second largest whale on Earth. They are baleen whales and belong to a group of whales known as the rorquals (also includes Humpback Whales and Blue Whales) Fin Whales have long throat grooves that expand while they are feeding. Dark-gray in color, a distinguishing feature of the Fin Whale is the asymmetrical coloring of the lower jaw, which is white-pale yellow on the right side and mottled black on the left side.Fin Whale feed mainly on small shrimp-like creatures called krill or small schooling fish that get trapped in their baleen plates. They have earned the nickname β€œgreyhound of the sea” for being the fastest of the baleen whales and are capable of burst speeds up to 29 mph.Fin whales were a popular target for commercial whalers. Although the practice is currently banned, populations are still a small fraction of what they once were.