Minke Whale

Wildlife Of Antarctica-Task 1


The minke whale is a black, grey and purple colour with a white underbody. The female whale roughly grows up to 7.4m and the males 6.9m. Both male and female minke whales usually weigh 10t (1000kg). The minke whale is baleen which means it has bristle teeth. It has bristled teeth so it can filter food (krill) from the water. Minke whales have between 240-360 baleen plates on each side of their mouths. Fact- They are the second smallest baleen whales just in front of the Pygmy right whale. Minke whales usually live for 30-50 years but sometimes they might live up to 60 years. Fact- Minke whales make loud noises up to 150 decibels which is around as loud as a jet taking off.


The minke whale has the baby inside their stomach for around 10 months. When the calf is born, it measures 2.4 to 2.8m and weighs 454kg. The minke whale nurses their calf for 5-10 months. Breeding usually happens in the summer. Calving occurs every 2 years. The minke whale population in the world is estimated to be 515,000.


The minke whale mainly feeds on krill but sometimes may eat small schools of fish. Mostly in the northern hemisphere minke whales eat small fish but in the Southern Hemisphere they mostly eat krill. But one krill won't fill up a whale, there would have to be thousands because of how small they are.


The main predators for the minke whale are whalers. The countries that mainly hunt the minke whales are Japan and Norway. Countries tend to claim that they are hunting for 'scientific research', but they are actually putting their fins and blubber on the markets.
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1. The minke whale breathes through its two blowholes on the top of their heads and they can hold their breath under water. They streamline to breathe.

2. Their tail flukes help them swim in up and down strokes powerfully so they can swim quickly.

3. The minke whales' blubber keeps them warm under water.


Minke whales usually stay in open pack ice where there is water in the summer.

Wildlife Status

Least concern
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