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North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects

 Northern Minke Whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata)




Northern Minke Whale | Balaenoptera acutorostrata photo
Minke spotted south of Armadale Skye in Sound of Sleat, Scotland

Photograph by Bob Balmer. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

Northern Minke Whale | Balaenoptera acutorostrata photo
Minke Whale surfacing, north of Husavik, Iceland

Photograph by Ville Miettinen. Some rights reserved.  (view image details)

NORTHERN MINKE WHALE FACTS

Description
The Minke Whale is a small rorqual with a pointed head and relatively small rostrum (snout). The body is dark with paler grey on the lower flanks and underside. There are usually pale chevron markings behind the head. The flipper has a white band across the middle of the dorsal side, but this is difficult to see in the water. They have about 300 yellowish baleen plates on each side of the mouth. The underside has between 50-70 ventral grooves. The dorsal fin is tall and sickle shaped.

Other Names
Minke Whale

Size
length: to 10m long. Weight: 6000kg - 9000kg. Females are larger than males

Environment
Minke whales are usually found within 170km on land. They are often seen in estuaries, bays, fjords, and lagoons. They are found as far north as the polar ice fields.

Food
feeds primarily on krill and some small fish

Breeding
A single calf is born after a gestation period of 10 to 11 months. The calf weighs about 450 kg at birth. The young are weaned at 5 months

Range
Northern Minke whales are found in all oceans of the northern hemisphere. They prefer cooler waters to tropical waters.

Conservation Status
LR|nt

Classification
Class:Mammalia
Order:Cetacea
Family:Balaenopteridae
Genus:Balaenoptera
Species:acutorostrata
Common Name:Northern Minke Whale


Relatives in same Genus
  Sei Whale (B. borealis)
  Bryde's Whale (B. edeni)
  Blue Whale (B. musculus)
  Fin Whale (B. physalus)