Bryde's whale is a baleen whale. It is a small group of several species which look alike and used to be lumped together. The whale can grow from 12.5 m (41 ft) to 14 m (46 ft) long and a weight of 16–18.5 tonnes, with the female larger than the male.
|Size comparison against an average human|
Until the 1950s it was considered a single species, Balaenoptera brydei. It is now known that there are several almost identical species. Balaenoptera edeni and Balaenoptera omurai are two other species in the group.
There has also been confusion between the Sei whale, Balaenoptera borealis, and the Bryde's whale as they look alike and are the same size. Bryde's whale is unique in having three long ridges on its head that go from between the eyes towards the blowhole. All other rorquals have just one. The Bryde's whales skin varies from black to dark grey.
The whale was named after Johan Bryde, who built South Africa's first factory to process whales. They are found in tropical and sub-tropical waters. There seem to be several different types of Bryde's whales, but it has not yet been decided if they are different species, or a sub-species. In particular, B. brydei and B. edeni may be sister species.
- "Description - Balaenoptera edeni". arkive.org. 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
- "Facts - Balaenoptera edeni". arkive.org. 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2012.
- SPRAT, citing: Sasaki T. et al 2006. Balaenoptera omurai is a newly discovered baleen whale that represents an ancient evolutionary lineage. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 41 (1):40-52.
- "Balaenoptera edeni (Bryde's whale, Bryde's whale complex, Common Bryde's whale, Eden's whale, Pygmy Bryde's whale, Tropical whale)". iucnredlist.org. 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2012.