Category of Organisms Marine Mammals
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum/Division Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Cetacea
Family Balaenopteridae
Genus Balaenoptera
Species physalus
Binomial Name
Balaenoptera physalus
Author Linnaeus, 1758
Common Name Fin whale, common rorqual, razorback, finn, finback
Local Name  
Size Range
Size at birth : 21 feet (6.4 m)
Adult Male : 62 feet (19 m)
Adult Female : 66 feet (20 m)
Weight : 45-75 tonnes
In waters ranging from the polar to the tropical. It is absent only from waters close to the ice pack at both the north and south extremities and relatively small areas of water away from the large oceans. It is less densely populated in the hottest, equatorial regions. It prefers deep waters beyond the continental shelf to shallow waters.
It was primarily hunted for its blubber, oil, and baleen.
Endemic No
Found in Marine Park No
Found in Malaysia Yes
The Fin Whale is usually distinguished by its great length and slender build. The Fin Whale has a brownish grey top and sides and a whitish underside. It has a pointed snout, paired blowholes, and a broad, flat rostrum. Two lighter-colored chevrons begin midline behind the blowholes and slant down the sides toward the tail on a diagonal upward to the dorsal fin, sometimes recurving forward on the back.It has a large white patch on the right side of the lower jaw, while the left side of the jaw is grey or black. The whale has a series of 56–100 pleats or grooves along the bottom of the body that run from the tip of the chin to the navel that allow the throat area to expand greatly during feeding. It has a curved, prominent (60 cm, 24 in) dorsal fin about three-quarters of the way along the back. Its flippers are small and tapered, and its tail is wide, pointed at the tip, and notched in the center. When the whale surfaces, the dorsal fin is visible soon after the spout. The spout is vertical and narrow and can reach heights of 6 meters. The whale will blow one to several times on each visit to the surface, staying close to the surface for about one and a half minutes each time. The tail remains submerged during the surfacing sequence. It then dives to depths of up to 250 meters (820 ft), each dive lasting between 10 and 15 minutes. Fin Whales have been known to leap completely out of the water.
The Fin Whale is a filter-feeder, feeding on small schooling fish, squid, and crustaceans including mysids and krill. Mating occurs in temperate, low-latitude seas during the winter, and the gestation period is eleven months to one year. A newborn weans from its mother at 6 or 7 months of age. Females reproduce every 2 to 3 years, with as many as 6 fetuses being reported, but single births are far more common. Females reach sexual maturity at between 3 and 12 years of age and male reach sexual maturity at between 5-6 years.
The high swimming speed (35km/h) and only rorqual whale species which can be found in the Mediterranean.

Status in IUCN Red List Endangered (EN)
Status in CITES Species Database I
Other Link(s)
Collection Record