The Whales

fin whale

The fin whale is so named because of its prominent dorsal fin set far back on its long body. 

Adult males are 78 feet (24 meters) long in the northern hemisphere and 88 feet (26 meters) in the southern hemisphere.

Among the fastest of the great whales the streamlined fin whale is capable of 23 mph (37 km/ph) in a burst and called the “greyhound of the sea”. It easily outran early whalers with their small boats or sailing vessels. This coupled with their preference for the vast open sea gave them almost complete protection.

Finback Whale 

24" Long x 5" High
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But as other whales became depleted the modern whaling industry descended on the fin. Between 1935 and 1965, 30,000 were slaughtered each year.  In 1966 the International Whaling Commission placed them under full protection. It is estimated that the present world population may be 60,000, a small fraction of its previous numbers. 

Their powerful sounds can carry vast distances, so even though they are found mostly alone or in small groups, they may stay in touch. The fin whales blow (spout) is a tall inverted cone, and the dive sequence is 5 to 8 blows, 70 seconds apart, before a long dive that may descend as deep as 1,800 feet  (550 meters).

They feed on krill or schooling fish and can consume up to 2 tons (1,814 kg) of food per day.  Fin Whales are found in all oceans of the world.




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