The Fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) is the second largest whale and animal in the world. A Fin whale can grow up to 24 meters (85 feet) in length and can weigh as much as 60000 to 80000 kg. They are found in all oceans and seas of the world. In the Eastern Pacific, their range extends from the Bering Sea to the southern tip of Baja California in Mexico. They are usually found offshore in deep waters.

Fin whales have a body that is elongated and slender. The dorsal side (backside) is dark coloured and the ventral side (underside) is white coloured in an asymmetrical pattern. The right side of the whale has more white colour than the left side, and is evident when comparing the right lower lip of the whale (white) to the left lower lip (dark). Inside the mouth and on the tongue, the dark/white arrangement is reversed with the right side being dark grey while the left side is white. The snout is V-shaped and pointed, with one dorsal ridge in the middle leading to the pair of blowholes. They can be identified usually by its tall spout; the blow is a tall inverted cone up to about 6-meters high (20 feet). The prominent dorsal fin is placed far back, and in adults, the fin can be as tall as 60 cm (2 feet).

Fin whales have been observed to travel individually, in pairs, and in groups comprising of 6 to 8 animals. Larger groupings have been observed in feeding grounds. Fin whales are baleen whales, or filter-feeders and they feed on a variety of fish, krill, and squid. They are fast swimmers having the ability to reach speeds of 30 km/h and sustain that speed. Fin whales can display bursts of speeds of up to 45 km/h. Some Fin whales have been observed to breach. They are deep divers and they are capable of taking long dives. Like other whales, males make long, loud, low-frequency sounds; these sounds have a frequency of 20-Hz, which is below the level of human hearing.


Fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) Specifics:


up to 24 m (85 ft)


up to 80000 kg (176000 lbs)


Dark coloured on dorsal side

White colours on ventral side in an asymmetrical pattern


Long and slender body

Lower right lip is white and lower left lip is dark

Snout has one dorsal ridge leading to the pair of blowholes

Dorsal fin placed far back