Subject: FIN WHALE (fwd)

Jennifer D. Philips (
Wed, 6 Nov 1996 16:42:59 -1000 (HST)

Forgot to cc this one to you....


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 6 Nov 1996 16:41:28 -1000 (HST)
From: "Jennifer D. Philips" <>
Subject: FIN WHALE

Hi guys!  Here are some answers to your questions about fin whales.  Good
luck on your project!

> How many babies per pregnancy does a fin whale have?
They have only one baby at a time, mainly because baby fin whales are so
hard to raise that if a female whale tried to raise more than one, she
probably would be unsuccessful and her babies would not survive to

> What is the average weight for the male the female and the babies?

Lets see - fin whales can get to be 80 to 90 feet long, so according to
the rule for most whales (where 1ft usually = 1 ton), they can be 80 to 90
tons in weight at adulthood.  Babies are born about 20 feet long, but I'm
not sure if the 1ft/1ton rule applies for newborn whales also.  

> Where is the fin whale usually found in summer?in winter?

Fin whales are found all over the world, but are more common closer to the
poles.  They spend their winters in the waters near:  Mexico, Philippines,
Japan, Florida, Gulf of Mexico, Mediterranean sea, Norway, South America,
Africa, Indian Ocean.  They spend their summers closer to the poles:  in
the Gulf of Alaska, Prince William Sound, Aleutian islands, Northern
Japan, Cape Cod, Arctic Circle, Greenland, Iceland, Barents Sea, and
Antarctica.  Wow!  So the idea is that they spend their winters in warmer
waters away from the poles, but not on the equator, and they spend their
summers in colder waters near the poles.

> Where does the fin whale usually migrate to and how long does it take?
There are several different isolated populations of fin whales all over
the world.  For example the Northeastern Pacific population is the one
that winters off Mexico and summers near alaska.  They migrate thousands
of miles from their wintering to their summering waters.  Though this is a
long distance, most other types of baleen whales migrate further during
their seasonal migrations.  This takes them maybe a month to complete.  

> Are there any fin whales in captivity and if so how long do they usually
No there are no fin whales in captivity.  They grow up to 80 feet in
length and swim thousands of miles a year, can you imagine keeping one in
a tank?

> Is the fin whale endangered?
No, fin whales are not considered endangered right now.  There are about
120,000 fin whales in the world.  

> What are some of the types of food the fin whale eats?
They eat a variety of foods, including krill and other invertebrates, and
many types of fish.

> What are some of the fin whales social behaviors?
I will give you some ideas here, and you can look them up to see what
details you find, ok?  First:  They skim their open mouths along the water
to feed.  Second:  They make very low pitched sounds, like loud clicks,
underwater.  What are they for?  Third:  They group together when they are
feeding or breeding, but when they are travelling they are much more
spread out.  In general, fin whales, like all baleen whales, don't have
very tight social organization, but they do get together sometimes, and
when they do, they can be seen to breach, jump, spyhop, tail slap, dive,
wrestle together, etc.  Good luck!

Thanks for your questions!  Let me know if you need more info.

Jen Philips

> These questions are being asked due to a whale project we are working on in our
> Science class using the Internet.  Any answers you can give us,  would be
> appreciated .
> Sincerely,
> Travis Board
> Micheal Goehner
> Jimmy Velez
> 6th Grade Students at Trickum Middle School 


Jennifer D. Philips

Marine Mammal Research Program - HIMB		(808) 236-4001
University of Hawaii, Manoa          
Honolulu, HI  96822	      "First, there were some amoebas. Deviant
			       amoebas adapted better to the environment,
			       thus becoming monkeys..."