Bryde's Whale
Balaenoptera edeni

Other Names: Tropical Whale

Habitat: Inshore and offshore

Status: Locally common

Population: c.90,000

Threats: Unknown

Group Size: 1-2, loose groups of up to 30 at good feeding grounds

Fin Position: Far behind center

Newborns: 11 -13 ft (3.4-4 m), 1,985 lb. (900 kg)

Adults: 37 -47 ft (11.5-14.5 m), 12-20 tons

Diet: Fish and krill or other crustaceans

Baleen: 250-365 baleen plates on each side


Dorsal fin:

- fin erect and hooked (variable)
- prominent dorsal fin
- deeply concave trailing edges
- convex leading edge
- pointed tip (variable)
- trailing edges sometimes notched or frayed


- broad flukes
- distinct notch in middle
- slightly concave trailing edges
- undersides of flukes may be dirty white


- pointed tips
- slender, relatively short flippers, up to one-third of body length


- low splashguard in front of blowholes
- additional outside ridge on head visible from the side
- broad, flat rostrum
- gap at front of mouth often separates left and right rows of baleen plates
-throat grooves

Head (from above):

- two distinct blowholes
- central ridge flanked by 2 additional parallel ridges

Other characteristics:

- 3 parallel longitudinal ridges on head
- smoky gray body color may appear chocolate brown or golden in certain lights
- slender body
- broad, flattened tail stock
- skin may appear mottled with circular scars, caused by parasites or Cookie-cutter Sharks
- light purple-gray, blue-gray, or creamy gray underside
- 40-70 throat grooves, usually end at or behind navel
- throat grooves may be white or yellowish white in some areas


-poorly known
- occasionally inquisitive and will approach boats, circling them or swimming alongside
- sometimes breaches clear of the water
- when feeding, typically makes sudden changes in direction, both underwater and at the surface
- its swimming style often gives the impression of a large dolphin rather than a whale
- feeds year-round
- breathing sequence seldom regular but averages 4 to 7 blow followed by a long dive of up to 8 minutes (though normally less than 2 minutes)
- loose aggregations may be spread over several square miles
- when surfacing between short dives, rarely shows more


- worldwide in tropical, subtropical, and some warm temperate waters
- known to occur between 40 N and 40 S, and may extend into higher latitudes where there are warm water currents
- prefers water temperatures above 68 F (20 C), so most common in tropical and subtropical areas, between 30 N and 30 S
- distribution may not be continuous throughout the range, and there appear to be local pockets of abundance, such as off South Africa, Japan, Sri Lanka, Fiji, and western Australia
- offshore animals may migrate short distances, but there are no known long-distance migrations to higher latitudes
- earlier records of distribution confused by misidentification with Sei Whale

TMMSN Galveston

TMMSN Corpus Christi

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This page was created by:Candice Orca Mottet