Minke Whale Facts | Minke Whale Habitat

Some of the most interesting and rarely known minke whale facts have been explained in this article including minke whales habitat, distribution, reproduction and species. Minke whale is a marine mammal that belongs to the suborder of baleen whales. It was first discovered in 1804 by Lacepede. These whales had become the target of coastal whaling by the end of 1930s especially in China, Japan, Norway, Greenland, South Africa, Canada, and Korea. Hunting continues to prevail until the mid of 1980s. After that, they are not excessively hunted for the reason that they are comparatively smaller in size. Minke whales were also considered to be too small species to chase. The population of these whales is relatively abundant in Isle of Mull, Ireland, County Cork, and Scotland. Even though rarely, they are also found in Pacific waters including San Juan Islands.

Amazing Minke Whale Facts

  • The minke whale is the second smallest baleen whale after the pygmy right whale.
  • The average length of males measure around 6.9 meters (23 feet), while females measuring at 7.4 meters (24 feet), which is particularly true in case of maturity age (6 – 8 years).
  • The maximum length of the female minke whales measure around 9.1 – 10.7 meters (30 – 35 feet), and that of male is about 8.8 – 9.8 meters (29 – 32 feet).
  • The weight of the minke whale is 4 – 5 tonnes (3.9 – 4.9 long tons; 4.4 – 5.5 short tons), with the maximum weight of 14 feet (14 long tons; 15 short tons).
  • They are grayish black in color.
  • These species have 240 to 360 baleen plates on each side of their mouths.
  • The lifespan of minke whales is 30 to 50 years and they rarely survive up to 60 years.
  • These mammals breathe 3 – 5 times at short intervals before they finally dive deeply for 20 minutes.
  • The ultimate swimming speed of minke whales is 38 km/h (24 mph).

Reproduction | Minke Whale Facts

  • The period of gestation of minke whale lasts for about 10 months.
  • The length of the calves measure around 2.4 – 2.8 meters (7.9 – 9.2 feet).
  • Calving is believed to takes place every two years.

Minke Whale Distribution

These mammals are extensively distributed all throughout the world and are frequently found from the poles to the tropics. Minke whales, however, prefer to live in open waters. The total population of these species is about 103,000. Some suggests that the numbers are 670,000.


Minke whales species are classified as:

  1. Common Minke Whale
  2. Antarctic Minke Whale
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