To see photographs of the Brydes Whale (Balaenoptera
edeni) click here.
Whale (Balaenoptera edeni)
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© 2014 Kelvin Aitken. Image © 2014 Rob Torelli.
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Taxonomic name: Balaenoptera
Other Common Names: Eden's Whale, Tropical Whale, Tropical Rorqual.
(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 Brydes whale, a smaller inshore
variety and a larger offshore form.
Brydes Whales can be found in warm temperate to tropical waters
of all oceans. They were first described in 1878 and prior to the 1920s
was lumped in with Sei Whales by whaling operators.
Brydes 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