« Minke Whale » (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) comes from a German whaler named « Meineke ». Two stories are told: the first one is that Meineke may have mistaken the small whale for a blue whale; and the second one, Meineke was in the habit of overestimating the size of the whales killed by his boat. To mock him, the others whalers called this whale « Meineke ’s Whale ».
- Latin name : Balaenoptera acutorostrata
- Suborder : Mysticeti
- Family: Balaenopteridae
- Length : up to 10 meters
- Weight : up to 800 kg
- Dive time : up to 20 minutes
- Dive depth: up to 200 meters
- IUCN Status: Least concern
Color: The back is dark grey, black. In the Northern Hemisphere it has a white band on its pectoral fins.
Head: Small and pointed rostrum.
Fins: The dorsal fin is located a the two-thirds of the body.
Baleen plates: Yellowish, from 270 to 350 plates each side of the upper jaw. 20 to 30 %of the baleen plates are white- light yellow.
Ventral grooves: 60 to 70 grooves, do not reach the mouth.
Blow: up to 2 meters.
Minke Whales feed on krill, young herring, sandlance and capelin. One of their most common feeding techniques consists in rushing in a school of fish from below. It sometimes turns on its sides to swallow its prey.
Sexual maturity is reached at around 6-8 years. Breeding and calving take place towards the end of Fall/beginning of Winter (for the Northern Hemisphere). Females give birth to calves every other year and the gestation lasts about 11 months. At birth, a new born measure around 2.5 meters in length.
Minke Whales are generally solitary or aggregate in small groups of 2 or 3 individuals. They are fast swimmer (up to 30km/h). The Minkes Whales often performs a series of breaches.
Minke Whales produce groans, moans. The frequency of the vocalization is usually low-frequency. From 100 Hertz to 12 kHertz. You can listen a Common Minke Whale communicating in this recording collected by NOAA Fisheries.
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