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Fin Whale

Fin Whale (Balaenoptera Physalus)Fin Whale (Balaenoptera Physalus)Fin Whale (Balaenoptera Physalus)Fin Whale (Balaenoptera Physalus)Fin Whale (Balaenoptera Physalus)
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Fin Whale Facts

Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
A group of animals within an order
A group of animals within a family
Scientific Name:
The name of the animal in science
Balaenoptera Physalus
The animal group that the species belongs to
What kind of foods the animal eats
Size (L):
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
6.5m - 24m (21ft - 79ft)
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
1,800kg - 70,000kg (4,000lbs - 150,000lbs)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
40km/h (25mph)
How long the animal lives for
50 - 60 years
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Grey, Black, White, Blue
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Favourite Food:
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
Deep offshore waters
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from
Krill, Fish, Squid
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Human, Large Sharks
Distinctive Features:
Characteristics unique to this animal
Pointed snout and two blowholes on top of head

Fin Whale Location

Map of Fin Whale Locations

Fin Whale

The fin whale is a large marine mammal that is found throughout ocean waters worldwide. The fin whale is the second largest whale in the world behind the blue whale, and also the second largest animal on Earth (obviously after the blue whale again).

The fin whale has a long and slender body which can grow to lengths of more than 20 meters. The body of the fin whale is generally blue or grey in colour and slighter lighter on the underside of the fin whale.

There are two different species of fin whale which are the Northern fin whale and the Antarctic fin whale. As their names suggest, the Northern fin whale is generally found in the Northern Hemisphere and the Antarctic fin whale, in the Southern Hemisphere.

Both fin whale species are very similar in appearance but the Antarctic fin whale tends to be larger in size than the Northern fin whale. Fin whales are found in both cold and tropical waters around the world, although they are most commonly found in the more temperate regions.

The fin whale is a carnivorous animal, that feeds by filtering food out of the water using the specially designed plates in its mouth (like a blue whale). The fin whale eats fish, krill, plankton, squid and crustaceans by simply opening its enormous mouth and swimming at faster speeds.

Due to its sheer size, the fin whale has no real predators within its natural environment as ocean predators simply don't compare in size. Humans are the greatest threat to the fin whale, as they have been hunted over the years to near extinction. The new-born fin whale calves are also sometimes attacked by large sharks.

Fin whales breed in the cold winter months, after which the female fin whales migrate south to the warmer, safer waters where she can nurse her young. The fin whale calf is born after a gestation period last is nearly a year long, and feeds on his mothers milk until he is around 7 months old and able to start hunting in the water.

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First Published: 1st February 2010, Last Updated: 10th September 2018

1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 01 Feb 2010]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. David W. Macdonald, Oxford University Press (2010) The Encyclopedia Of Mammals [Accessed at: 01 Feb 2010]
4. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 01 Feb 2010]
5. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 01 Feb 2010]
6. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 01 Feb 2010]

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