Category of Organisms Marine Mammals
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum/Division Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Cetacea
Family Balaenopteridae
Genus Balaenoptera
Species edeni
Binomial Name
Balaenoptera edeni
Author Anderson, 1879
Common Name Bryde’s whale
Local Name Called Luulumbo by the Kadazans in Sabah
Size Range
Size at birth : 10-13 feet (3-4 m)
Adult Male : up to 51 ft (15.6 m)
Adult Female : up to 43 ft (13.7 m)
Weight : 16-18 tonnes
A long- standing prohibition on the operation of factory ships north of 40°S except in the North Pacific north of 20°N meant that Bryde’s whale populations largely escaped the consequences of whaling suffered by baleen whale species that feed in higher latitudes, although this regulation was not respected by Soviet whaling fleets in the 1960s, nor by the pirate whaling ship Sierra in the 1970s. However, some populations such as the East China Sea and South African Inshore stocks may have been reduced by whaling.

Pelagic whaling for Bryde’s whales was suspended in the North Pacific from 1980 following a ban by the IWC on most factory ship whaling, but catches continued from the coast of Japan and the Bonin Islands until 1987. Pelagic whaling resumed in the western North Pacific in 2000 under special permits issued by the Japanese authorities, but to date catches have been limited to 50 per year (IWC 2006a). Like most cetaceans, Bryde’s whales are occasionally by-caught in fishing gear, but they do not appear to be especially susceptible. Records of vessel strikes are also rare.

Endemic No
Found in Marine Park No
Found in Malaysia Yes
Worldwide in tropical and temperate oceans.
Two ridges found on its head. No other rorquals have thise ridges, which can only be seen from the top view of a Bryde’s Whale head. The thick median line that extends from the blowholes to the tip of the snout is flanked on either side by two parallel-running, 1-2cm thick ridges. The dark colouration on the back and sides of a Bryde’s Whale’s slender body can have a brown or golden shimmer to it when the light strikes it in a certain way. Its underside is cream or blue-grey in colour. The underside of a Bryde’s Whale is often covered with pock marks, which give it a mottled appearance. The falcate dorsal fin can be up to 45cm high and is located far down the dorsal ridge. The slender and pointed flippers are dark on both sides. Making up no more than 10% of the whale’s total body length, they are relatively short. The edge of the wide fluke is slightly concave at the back and has a cospicuous median notch. The top side is dark, the back side can be a dirty-white. The 40-70 yellowish to whitish throat grooves extend down to the navel. The 250-360 baleen plates on each side of the upper jaw are 40 cm long, coarsely textured and grey in colour. The tips may be paler. There is a small gap between the baleen plates on both sides. The blow is 3-4 m high and narrow.

Bryde’s whale diet consists of generally larger size prey, often shoaling fish species. It will also feed on krill.

The existence of inshore and offshore forms of this species makes it difficult to define a particular breeding season. Calves are born after a 12-month gestation period, and then probably suckled for about 6 months. Males can reproduce at 38-41 ft (11.6-12.4 m) and females at 40-42 ft (12-12.8 m). Pork marks at underside of a Bryde’s Whale are caused by parasites and possibly by smaller sharks like the Cookiecutter Shark (Isistius brasiliensis), Age of a Bryde’s Whale about 50 years.
Status in IUCN Red List Endangered (EN)
Status in CITES Species Database I
Other Link(s)
Collection Record