Minke Whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata): The Tiniest Baleen Whales in The World

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Minke whales are baleen whales that are part of the suborder Mysticeti. These mammals include the genus Balaenoptera of the family Balaenopteridae. The minke whale is dazzling and small-sized with a sharp, trigonal snout and dark-colored physical body. Similar to other baleen whales, the minke whale also employs the comb-like baleen plates in its oral cavity to strain plankton, krill, and little marine life from the water. The pseudonym is a fragmentary transcription of Norwegian minkehval, perhaps after a Norwegian whaler called Meincke, who misinterpreted a north minke whale for a blue whale. Minke whales are the most abundantly discovered baleen whales.

antarctic minke whale
antarctic minke whale|source:wildwhales.org

Minke whales are discovered in seas around the planet. They choose chilly temperature levels, are regularly seen in coastline and seaside waters and are less typical in tropic waters. While widespread minke whales are discovered in the majority of the seas in the Northern Hemisphere, the Antarctic ones are discovered in the Southern Hemisphere. Throughout summertime, they can be discovered in areas where there are thick layers of ice cubes. Throughout the winter season, they normally explore towards pleasant waters and in summer season step closer to the poles. Some populations of minke whales remain in the same location throughout the year. Glimpses reveal that homunculus minke whales have a more seaside circulation than Antarctic minke whales.


Minke whales are the tiniest and most bountiful of the rorqual whales. They have a forcefully sharp snout, vertical mouthline and a long spine along the head with 2 blowholes. Minke whales are thought to be the second tiniest amongst the baleen whales. Females can grow relatively larger than the males and reach a standard body length of approximately 25 feet. In case of males, the length might vary in between 23 to 24 feet. The minke whale has a smooth, structured body that is grey to dark in color. The abdominal side of its body might have a brighter or whiter shade.


Both the baleen layers and neck canals assist the whale in sift feeding, which includes swallowing large quantities of water. The water is then infiltrated the baleen plates that operate like a sieve to hold the victim inside the oral cavity. While Antarctic minke whales feed solely on krill, a typical minke whale’s diet includes a vast array of marine life, like sardines, squid, herring, copepods, and so on.  They might likewise eat plankton. The largest meat-eater of the minke whale is the transient killer whale. Minke whales try to prevent these aggressions by fleeing directionally at a high speed.


Minke whales get to sexual maturation approximately the age of 3 to 8. Antarctic minke whales might take longer (7 to 8 years), when compared with the frequent ones. Normally, breeding occurs throughout winter season, and the reproduction duration is over 11 months. Reproducing peaks throughout the summertime. Calving is thought to happen every 2 years. Factual breeding behavior in between minkes has never ever been observed and stays uncertain. Reproducing and calving bases in the north Pacific are likewise unidentified. Halting and splitting up is most likely complete prior to the summertime.

common minke whale
common minke whale|source:cornell.edu

Minke Whales Facts – Baleen Plates

As opposed to teeth, this mammal has 2 lines of yellowish-white baleen plates that progress on the upper jaw. The anatomy of the baleen plates look like the teeth of a straighten. In Antarctic minke whales, the baleen plates can have a mix of silvery and brighter colors. In addition, the quantity and scale of baleen plates are said to be higher in the austral types. It is said that dwarf minke whales have bright white baleen plates with a slim dark line. The windpipe canals are certainly pleated folds of skin layer. These canals are discovered under the oral cavity and reach the pectoral fins. The functionality of this design is to broaden the buccal cavity (mouth), so as to take in the optimum quantity of water, together with the victim.


Minke Whales Facts – Uncompanionably in Nature

Minke whales are primarily uncompanionably in nature, however little groups of 2 to 3 individuals are unusual. Current research study on dwarf minke whales in the Great Barrier Reef expose they are more loquacious and social than formerly thought. Throughout migration, these whales might go around in big numbers. They are fairly fast swimmers, sometimes spy-hopping and breaching. The mammal breathes 4 to 5 times at brief periods prior to ‘deep-diving’ for 4 to 20 mins.


Minke Whales Facts – Fast Swimmers

Minke whales are truly supersonic swimmers who can move at a fast forward of 24 miles per hour. Throughout feeding, these mammals lower their rate to 7 miles per hr. As they plunge, they stretch their spines and show the dorsal fin; however, the flukes might not be seen. Generally, they take brief plunges that last for approximately 15 mins, although they can take extended dives too. They inhale through the blowholes found on the top of the head. They absorb oxygen at the surface area; however, the spouts are not that noticeable, as they breathe out far below the water surface area. The spouts are more noticeable in the Antarctic types.

 Facts – Extraordinary Vocalization

These whales are understood for their one-of-a-kind voice. Some of their tones are so unique that they are called star wars, boing, and so on. The big name ‘star wars’ was given, as the certain sound simulates that of a laserlight weapon from ‘Star Wars’. It is thought that these whales to captivate females use this specific resonance. Minke whales are found to be very steady to summer feeding locations and individuals have appeared in the same location every year.


Minke whales are said to be the most bountiful amongst the baleen whales. While the common minke whale appears under the ‘Least Concern’ list of the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), the Antarctic minke whale remains in the ‘Data Deficient’ list. Already, the population of minke whales is thought about constant; however, particular areas have shown a decrease in numbers as a result of whaling and angling activities. Yet another possible risk is undersea noises that might disrupt their interaction using low-frequency sounds. The life expectancy of minke whales can be in between 20 to 50 years.

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