What are Fin Whales?

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Iceland’s government recently said it will resume hunting fin whales after a two-month halt, but with new guidelines aimed at killing them as quickly as possible to reduce suffering.

About Fin Whales

  • Next to the blue whale, the fin whale is the second largest mammal in the world.
  • It gets its name from an easy-to-spot fin on its back, near its tail.
  • It is the fastest swimming of the large whales, known as the greyhound of the seas.
  • Scientific Name: Balaenoptera physalus
  • Other Names: Finner; Razorback; Finback; Flathead; Common rorqual; Herring whale
  • Distribution:
    • They inhabit the temperate and polar zones of all major oceans and open seas and, less commonly, in tropical oceans and seas.
    • Some populations are migratory, moving into colder waters during the spring and summer months to feed. In autumn, they return to temperate or tropical oceans.
  • Features:
    • It is very streamlined in shape, but rather "fuller" than the blue whale, although it isn't as long.
    • They grow to 20 meters in length and weigh approximately 70,000 kilograms.
    • They are dark grey to brownish-black in colour along the top of the body, with an asymmetrically pigmented head.
    • They have a distinct ridge along their back behind the dorsal fin, which gives it the nickname "razorback.
    • Fin whales have a very unusual feature: the lower right jaw is bright white and the lower left jaw is black.
    • Lifespan: They can live for 80 to 90 years.
    • Females are slightly longer than males.
  • Conservation Status:
    • IUCN Red List: Vulnerable


Q1) What are Whales?

Whales are large marine mammals that belong to the order Cetacea. They are known for their immense size, streamlined bodies, and their ability to live in the world's oceans. Whales are among the largest animals to have ever existed on Earth. There are two main suborders of whales: the Odontoceti, or toothed whales, and the Mysticeti, or baleen whales.

Source: Iceland resumes fin whale hunting, but killing needs to be faster