Name: Fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus)
Length: 16 – 20 m
Weight: 4 – 10 tonnes
Fin whales are both a pelagic and nearshore species, sometimes frequenting waters as shallow as 30 m. Although generally brownish grey above and white below, fin whales have an unusual asymmetrical colouration; with the lower jaw white on the right side and dark on the left. Fin whales are second only to blue whales in length but appear thinner and more ‘slight’. These sociable whales are typically seen in pods of 5 - 7 individuals but groups as large as 300 have been observed migrating together. The fin whale is one of the fastest of the cetaceans and reach speeds of 37 km/hr. They are also known to breach (leap) completely out of the water.