Beluga Whale Logo

  The world's largest marine wildlife image database.


To see photographs of the Bryde’s Whale (Balaenoptera edeni) click here.

Bryde’s Whale (Balaenoptera edeni)

Bryde’s Whale (Balaenoptera edeni)

All text on this page is copyright protected: © 2014 Kelvin Aitken. Image © 2014 Rob Torelli.
All rights reserved. Students may use this information for personal research only. Not for commercial use.

Order: Cetacea
Family: Balaenopteridae
Genus: Balaenoptera
Species: edeni
Taxonomic name: Balaenoptera edeni
Other Common Names: Eden's Whale, Tropical Whale, Tropical Rorqual.

Bryde’s Whales (pronounced “Broodees”) belong to the Balaenopteridae or Rorqual family of whales.

At birth they are 4.5 meters and grow to 14 meters. Some cetacean researchers claim that there are two forms of Bryde’s whale, a smaller inshore variety and a larger offshore form.

Bryde’s Whales can be found in warm temperate to tropical waters of all oceans. They were first described in 1878 and prior to the 1920’s was lumped in with Sei Whales by whaling operators.

Bryde’s Whales are dark grey on the back fading to pale grey on the flanks then white to pale grey on the belly and chin but with dark upper and lower lips. The underside of the flukes is pale grey to dark grey. The dorsal fin is tall and situated 2/3 of the body length back towards the flukes. The most distinctive feature of this species is the three ridges on the upper surface of the snout running from the twin blowholes to the tip of the snout, for the middle ridge, and close to the tip with the outer ridges. This feature is usually easily observed but may be less pronounced in some individuals.

This species feeds on schooling fish and has been observed many times feeding close to shore, even in water as shallow as 3 meters, on “baitballs” of hardyheads and other schooling species of fish including small bonito. They are often seen rolling onto their side to scoop in large mouthfuls expanding their throat pleats to take in large quantities of water and food before sieving it through their baleen. They are an acrobatic feeder, sharply changing direction, rolling, breaching and surging up to the surface. They do not show their flukes when diving even though they can feed at greater depths than other similar species. When surfacing they tilt up the tip of their snout which, if they are not being pursued or in the act of feeding, allows the observer to note the three ridges described above.

Site Map
Contact Details