The Bryde’s Whale (Balaenoptera edeni) has also been named « Tropical Whale » because it is generally sighted in the tropics and temperate waters. The whale was named after Johan Bryde, a Norwegian whaler who built the first South Africa factory to process whales.
Latin name : Balaenoptera edeni
Suborder : Mysticeti
Length : up to 14 meters
Weight : up to 30 tons
Dive time : up to 20 minutes
Dive depth: up to 300 meters
IUCN Status: Least concern
Color: Bluish back. Both sides of the lower jaw are light colored.
Head: Three prominent longitudinal head ridges (picture below).
Fins: The dorsal fin is falciform and located two-thirds of the way back from the tip of the rostrum.
Baleen plates: Dark grey. From 250 to 365 plates on each side of the upper jaw.
Ventral grooves: 40 to 70 grooves that extend to the navel.
Blow: up to 4 meters.
Diet: Bryde’s Whales are considered opportunistic feeders targeting pelagic crustaceans and fish (e.g., herring, anchovies, mackerel), or cephalopods without a clear preference. It has been observed that the same individuals switch preys between years and feeding areas, probably following the stock abundance fluctuations.
Reproduction: Sexual maturity is reached at around 8-13 years. Breeding and calving take place towards the end of Fall/beginning of Winter (for the Northern Hemisphere). Females give birth to calves every 2 years and the gestation lasts about 11-12 months. At birth, a new born measure around 3.5 meters.
Social behavior: Bryde’s Whales can form groups of four to five individuals, although they are generally solitary animals. They can perform repeated breaches and they can swim as fast as 20-25 km/h with a cruise speed at around 7 km/h.
Vocal behavior: Bryde’s Whales produce powerful low-frequency moans around 124 to 250 Hertz. You can listen a Bryde’s Whale communicating in this recording collected by NOAA Fisheries.