Minke Whales

 

You are more likely to see minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) at close quarters than other baleen whales because they are notoriously inquisitive and often approach boats. They are black, brown, or dark grey on their backs and lighter on the belly and underside of their flippers. The most conspicuous feature is a diagonal band of white on the upper surface of each flipper. 

 

 

Like fin whales, minke whales sometimes have a light chevron on the back, behind the head and two regions of light grey on each side - one just above and behind the flipper, and another just in front of and below the dorsal fin. The tail flukes can be pale grey, blue-grey or white on the underside, usually with a dark margin. The baleen plates are white, grey or cream in colour.

The minke whale is the smallest of the rorqual whales. Females reach an average length of 8.5m and males grow to about 8m. Like other baleen whales, those found in the northern hemisphere tend to be smaller than those from the southern hemisphere. Minke whales weigh between five to 10 tonnes.