The Bryde's Whale

The Bryde's whale has three distinct longitudinal ridges that run from snout to near blow hole and 45 throat grooves that extend back to the navel. The dorsal fin is described to be very 'shark-like' (erect and hooked).

They swim much faster than the southern right whale, chasing shoals of small fish, such as anchovy, pilchard and squid. They do, however, also eat plankton. Some of these whales are resident off the South African coast all year while others migrate to equatorial waters.

They can often be seen 6-15km offshore, swimming in family groups of 5-6

BRYDES WHALE: Balaenoptera edeni. L: 15m. W: 15t. Dist: all trop/temp oceans


BREACHING: Leaping out of the water, twisting & crashing back into the sea. Perhaps to dislodge parasites & communicate with other whales.

TAILS LOBS: Lifting the tail out of the water & slamming it down onto the surface making a loud noise.

BLOWING: Whales surface to breathe through nostrils (blowholes) located on the top of the head. Exhaling forms a ‘v' shaped spray called a blow.

SPY HOPPING: Whales' eyes are situated low in the head, so to observe the surroundings they lift the head vertically out of the water.

BODY ROLLS: Sometimes rolling near the surface, females avoid male advances & calves wanting to suckle.

TAIL LIFTS: Lifting the tail just above the surface using the flippers for support, the tail acts as a sail.