North American Fin Whale

Raymond New Hampshire Zoo


Class: Mammalia

Order: Cetacea

Family: Balaenopteridae

Genus: Balaenoptera

Species: physalus

Common Name: Fin Whale

Fin Whale Internal Anatomy

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Fin Whale Body Appearance:

The Fin Whale is a long, sleek, and stream line which has a V- shaped head which is also flat. The Fin Whale is a grayish color has small and tapered fins with a wide fluke and a dorsal fin located on it's back. The mouth of a Fin Whale has 350-400 baleen on each side of its mouth. Male Fin Whales are on average 82 feet and females are 88 feet and are usually bigger then male Fin Whales.

Feeding Pattern:

The Fin Whale is Carnivores because they eat krill, shrimp, fish, squid, and octopus. Fin Whales also eat small schooling fish, capelin, and sand lance.

Habitat of a Fin Whale:

Fin Whales are coastal species they are also pelagic and occurring in shallow waters of at least 30 meters deep. They can also be found in deep in offshore waters of major oceans mainly in temperatures of polar latitudes.

Senses of the Fin Whale:

Fin Whales have six senses. The six senses are sight, smell, hearing, touch, taste, and echolocation. The most interesting sense is echolocation because the whale sends out a high pitched sound and it travels till it hits an object and bounces back and allows the whale to be able to detect the shape, distance, direction, and even the texture of the object.

Threats to the Fin Whale:

Threats to the Fin Whale are commercial whaling and scientific whaling. The Fin Whale is also threatened by habitat degradation because Fin Whales like polar waters and with global warming it can cause the waters to heat resulting in habitat degradation. The last two threats are climate and oceanographic change and also prey depletion because of over harvesting of fish in the ocean.

Close Relatives to the Fin Whale:

The Fin Whale is related to all other whales in the ocean but the surprising fact is that whales are also related to Hippos because whales are thought to of evolved from hoofed land mammals.

Geographical Location of a Fin Whale:

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  • "Fin Whale (Balaenoptera Physalus) - Office of Protected Resources - NOAA Fisheries." Fin Whale (Balaenoptera Physalus) - Office of Protected Resources - NOAA Fisheries. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2016.
  • "Australian Government Department of the Environment." Balaenoptera Physalus — Fin Whale. Australian Government, n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2016.
  • "Whales Forever." Whale Senses. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2016.