Common Name: Bryde’s Whale
General Description: Bryde’s Whales (pronounced brood-ess) have three prominent ridges on the head ahead of the blowholes, one medial, and one on each side from the area adjacent to the blowholes towards the tip of the snout. The three ridges are diagnostic of the species.
The dorsal fin is up to 46 cm tall, sickle-shaped and pointed. It is located about one-third of the body length forward from the tail fluke notch.
Bryde’s Whales are generally dark grey above. The throat and chin have some white. Some individuals have regions of light grey on each side, forward from the dorsal fin.
Size: Adults, Males grow to a length of 14 m, and females to 15.6 m. The weight is about 17 tons. Two forms exist in some areas, one coastal and one offshore. The offshore form is apparently slightly larger. Calves at birth, 4m long.
Appearance At Sea: Bryde’s whales often approach vessels at sea, permitting close observation. They often turn on to their sides when feeding. Bryde’s Whales are usually found in groups of 2 to 6.
The movements of this whale are said to be fishlike and jerky.
Bryde’s Whales surface to breathe by rising steeply such that the head is exposed, and then roll over so that a long expanse of the back is visible.
Found In: Both the coastal and the offshore forms prefer warm water above 20°C. The inshore form is resident whilst the offshore form is migratory. Bryde’s Whales feed mainly on schooling fish such as mackerel and sardines, together with planktonic crustacea.
World Distribution: Bryde’s Whale is found in tropical and subtropical waters of all seas.
Could Be Confused With: There is a possibility of confusion with the other similarly sized whales such as Omura’s whales, Minke whales and young fin whales.
Diagnostic Features: At sea, Three ridges on head, small sharply pointed fin, white throat.
Stranded Specimens: Three ridges on the head.The baleen plates number 250 to 370 and are slate-grey. They are 42 cm long and 24 cm wide. The bristles on the plates are usually light grey, sometimes fine and white, sometimes black.