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The Minke Whale

The Minke whale is the smallest of the rorquals. The male of the species can grow to a length of 9.8m (32ft) and the female larger at 11m (36ft) and weigh 10 tonnes. Populations in the Southern hemisphere on the average are slightly larger than other areas. Some animals are inquisitive and approach quite closely, but in most cases it is unusual to get a clear view. The Minke can be confused with the Sei, Bryde's, Fin or Northern Bottlenose whale, however, the dive sequence is distinctively different, the head is unscarred and it's mouthline is relatively straight.

This species is attracted to ships and often approaches moving vessels. The Minke whale is a fast swimmer and can keep pace with a ship travelling at 24-30 knots per hour. A Minke may suddenly appear alongside without warning but it is unlikely to bow-ride.
Minkes observed breaching usually leave the water at 45 and re-enter without twisting or turning their bodies. Most of the body may leave the water with the initial surge and the entire dorsal fin is often visible. The back can be arched allowing for a clean dolphin like re-entry or held straight causing a tremendous splash as it lands on its stomach.