Minke whale Facts

Minke whale Facts
Minke whale belongs to the group of baleen whales. There are two species of minke whales: Atlantic and southern minke whale, that differ in size, morphology and area they inhabit. Minke whales can be found in different oceans throughout the world, but they usually inhabit polar waters of the northern hemisphere. Due to their small size, minke whales were safe during the period of intense whaling in the past. They are the most abundant group of whales today. Minke whales are not on the list of endangered species.
Interesting Minke whale Facts:
Minke whales are one of the smallest species of whales. They can reach 22 to 24 feet in length and up to 14 tons of weight. Females are slightly larger than males.
Dorsal side of the body is dark grey or black in color. Underside of the body is white. Some species have white patches on the flippers.
Minke whale has torpedo-shaped body and two long flippers. Dorsal fin is short and hooked. Area near the tail is covered with series of ridges.
Minke whales have two blowholes on the head. V-shaped exhaled condensed air can reach 6.5 feet in height.
Minke whales have around 300 baleen plates in their mouth. Baleen plates are yellow and usually 12 inches long.
Minke whales feed by filtering food out of the ingested water using baleen plates.
Diet of minke whales consists of krill (small crustaceans), fish (herring and sardines) and squids.
Minke whales are fast and agile swimmers. They can swim at the speed of 21 miles per hour when they are threatened. During the feeding time, minke whales swim very slow, only 1 to 6 miles per hour.
Minke whales can dive 20 to 25 minutes, but they usually spend 10 to 12 minutes under the water before returning to the surface to breathe.
Minke whales produce loud songs (150 decibels) that can be heard couple of miles away. Songs are used for communication. Songs can be heard during the mating season, migration or when they need to inform other whales about upcoming danger.
Minke whales are very curious creatures. They like to swim around ships and to observe people.
Besides humans, natural enemies of minke whales are killer whales.
Minke whales are usually solitary creatures. They occasionally swim in groups (pods) composed of 2 to 4 animals. Minke whales gather during the mating season which takes place during the summer.
Females reproduce every second year. Pregnancy lasts 10 to 11 months and ends with one baby (calf). Baby is 9 feet long and has 1000 pounds at birth. It depends on the mother's milk during the first 5 months of its life. Young animals reach sexual maturity at the age of 5 years.
Minke whales can survive up to 50 years in the wild.

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