The Fin Whale is the second largest known creature on Earth. Imagine how they glide through the water for their size. Only the blue whale is larger.
This majestic ocean creature is also popular as the greyhound of the sea due to their seeming gracefulness, along with their speed. Despite their size, the Fin Whale moves with great velocity and can move as rapidly as 30 mph (48 kph) which is incredible speed for their size.
Fin Whale Physical Characteristics
The remarkably distinctive physical appearance of the Fin Whale makes it easily distinguishable from other whales. That’s because their particular physical traits can be easily categorized:
- They attain lengths of as much as 90 ft (27.5 m)
- Their distinctive torpedo-shape appears unique among whales
- The typical coloring is a brownish-gray on the upper side and lighter on the underside
- The dorsal fin is prominent
Like most whales, in one of the darker eras of human history, mankind hunted this cetacean almost to extinction. Though illegal whaling still unfortunately occurs, their numbers have rebounded somewhat. Current estimates place their global population at somewhere between 100,00-120,000 individuals.
Fin Whale Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The Fin Whale is one of the creatures popular as a cosmopolitan species – they live in every major ocean, from the tropics to the polar regions.
Mating typically occurs in lower latitude regions, during the winter. Further, the female will reproduce every 2-3 years, giving birth to as many as six calves.
Their only known natural predator – humans do not count as a natural predator for this species – is the orca.
This whale also has a known lifespan of roughly 140 years.