FIN WHALE (Balaenoptera physalus)
The fin whale is a large baleen whale, second in size only to the blue whale. Fin whales have a small curved dorsal fin set about two-thirds of the way back along the body. They are dark grey to brownish black in colour along the top of the body, while the throat, belly and undersides of the flippers and tail flukes are white. The head is asymmetrically pigmented, with the white colouration extending up over the right lower jaw and inside the mouth cavity. The left side of the jaw is quite dark in contrast. It is not known why fin whales are coloured in this way, though there is some speculation that it may have something to do with their feeding strategy.
Fin whales have a long streamlined body, averaging about 21 m in length for adult males and 22.3 m for adult females in the Southern Hemisphere. They are slightly shorter in the north, averaging 19 m for males and 20.5 m for females (Martin 1990). Adult fin whales can weigh between 45 and 75 tonnes, depending on the time of year and their individual body condition.