The dorsal fin is small and curved, but relatively tall, compared to other baleen whales. The two pectoral flippers are narrow, pointed and comparatively short. The tail fin has a slight notch in the centre with concave trailing edges. Adult Minkes reach a length of seven to 10 metres (or 23 to 33 feet) and a weight of between five and 10 tonnes.
Some Minke Whales can be quite inquisitive, even approaching boats. This is to their detriment in the cases of their approaching hunting boats. However, many shy away from any sort of human contact and are difficult to approach.
This whale is a fast swimmer, in comparison to others of its kind. It will emit between five and eight blows with intervals of less than a minute before diving under the surface of the water. Although the average dive lasts for about five minutes, it can last anywhere between three and 20 minutes. While it travels, it will usually only take one or two breaths between dives.
Occasionally, the Minke Whale will be spotted feeding just below the ocean’s surface.
Where to Find Them
Minke Whales can be found all over the world, but at different times of the year. Research suggests that individuals have home ranges. Minke Whales are known to enter estuaries and shallow bays, as well as sometimes feeding around islands during the warmer months.
Being baleen whales, Minkes filter their foods through large sieve-like structures in their mouths known as baleen plates. This allows only tiny fish and krill (or very small crustaceans) through.
Unfortunately, Minke Whales are still hunted commercially, which means that human hunters are, at present, its biggest threat. Additional threats are pollution and fishing nets, which both leave the Minke Whale with few defences against their tragic effects.