Fin Whale Facts
- Most notably, the amazing Fin Whale is the second largest known creature on Earth. Imagine how it glides through the water for its 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 its speed.
- Despite its size, the Fin Whale moves with great velocity and can move as rapidly as 30 mph (48 kph) which is incredible speed for its size.
- Currently, marine biologists also recognize two subspecies of this remarkable cetacean. As with most whales, the IUCN has listed this whale as Endangered.
Fin Whale Physical Description
The remarkably distinctive physical appearance of the Fin Whale makes it easily distinguishable from other whales.
That occurs due to the fact that its particular physical traits can be easily categorized.
Firstly, individuals typically attain lengths of up to 90 ft (27.5 m). In addition, its distinctive torpedo-like shape remains unique among whales.
Also, the typical coloring for most individuals consists of a brownish-gray on the upper side and lighter on the underside of the mammal.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Artiodactyla
- Family: Balaenopteridae
- Genus: Balaenoptera
- Species: B. physalis
Fin Whale Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Firstly, the Fin Whale is one of the creatures popular as a cosmopolitan species – it lives 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.
The Fin Whale also lives as a filter feeder and eats primarily krill, squid, fish, and small crustaceans.
Further, its 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.
Finally, 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, its numbers have rebounded somewhat.
Current estimates place its global population at somewhere between 100,00-120,000 individuals.