Species: Balaenoptera edeni
11 to 16.5 m, weighing 25 to 40 tonnes
About 50 years
Bryde's Whale is also known as the Tropical Whale because it prefers warm temperate waters over 16°C. It is found at latitudes between 40° south and 40° north in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. Some seasonal migrations have been observed between warmer and colder waters, while other individuals are year-round residents of tropical coastal waters.
There have been very few sightings within the Agoa Sanctuary.
Sexual maturity is reached by females at the age of 10 years and by males between 9 and 13 years. Gestation lasts 11 months and females give birth to a single calf every 2 years.
Bryde's Whale reproduces all year round.
It feeds mainly on gregarious fish such as sardines, anchovies, mackerel and herring, which it hunts by plunging into schools. It also feeds on krill, copepods and pelagic rock crabs in pelagic habitats.
Groups of up to 20 individuals can be observed in favourable feeding grounds, whereas it is usually seen alone or in small groups of up to three individuals.
Morphological characteristics for distinction at sea
- Head: three parallel ridges running from the vents to the muzzle tip in a V-shape
- Fins: thin dorsal fin sharply curved backwards
- Flippers: small (less than 10% of total body length), slender, spear-shaped and pointed.
- Spout: high and narrow (3 to 4 m)
- Swim sequence: the head emerges first, then the back and the dorsal fin. The tail never emerges. It strongly arches its caudal peduncle to dive.
- Colouring: dark grey back, almost black in certain light conditions, white or slightly yellow belly.
Did you know?
When hunting, Bryde's Whale swims fast with its mouth open towards a school of fish, it then rolls to one side to try and catch prey in its mouth as it tries to escape by turning around.