Balaenoptera acutorostrata

Scientific Name:-
Balaenoptera acutorostrata

Common Name:-
Minke Whale, Lesser Rorqual

Malayalam Name:-
Mink Thimingalam/Cheru Thimingalam


Classified as "Least Concern” by the IUCN. Not listed by CMS. Listed in Schedule II of Indian (Wildlife) Protection Act


The body of the Minke Whale is slender and streamlined. The short head appears sharply triangular when viewed from above. There is a single prominent head ridge. The maximum length of males is about 8.0 m and that of females, 10.7 m; the weight is about 10 tons. The flippers are slim and pointed, whilst the tail flukes are broad, with a notched rear margin. There are 50 to 70 throat grooves, which end short of the navel, often just behind the flippers. The dorsal fin is tall and falcate, located two-thirds of the way back from the tip of the snout. Minke Whales are black to dark grey on the back, white on the belly and on the underside of the flippers. Northern hemisphere animals may have a distinctive diagonal band of white on each flipper, the extent varying between individuals. A paler chevron may be seen behind the head, and some shading occurs on the sides. It feeds mainly on fish and squid. At sea, Narrow, acutely pointed almost triangular rostrum; bright white flipper patch; tall falcate dorsal fin. Out of the breeding season, the Minke Whale tends to occur alone or in pairs, but it may congregate in rich feeding areas. The blow of a Minke Whale is low (2 m), and usually inconspicuous. The fin often appears at the same time as the blow.


Not recorded from Kerala coast.


There is only one time observation of this species from Kerala coast.


The Common Minke Whale occurs in both coastal and offshore waters; it also approaches close to shore, often entering shallow waters, including rivers, estuaries, inlets and bays.


Balaena rostrata Fabricius, 1780; Balaenoptera acuturostrata Lacépède, 1804; Balaena minima Rapp, 1837; Rorqualus minor Hamilton, 1837; Balaenoptera eschrichtius Rasch, 1845; Pterobalaena minor bergensis Eschricht, 1849; Pterobalaena minor groenlandica Eschricht, 1849; Pterobalaena minor Eschricht, 1849; Balaenoptera microcephala Gray, 1850; Pterobalaena nana Barkow, 1862; Pterobalaena nana pentadactyla Barkow, 1862; Pterobalaena nana tetradactyla Barkow, 1862; Pterobalaena pentadactyla Flower, 1865; Balaena gibbosa Cope, 1868; Balaenoptera davidsoni Scammon, 1872; Sibbaldius mondinii Capellini, 1877; Balaenoptera rostrata Van Beneden & Gervais, 1880; Balaena microcephala Tomilin, 1957; Balaenoptera acutorostrata thalmaha Deraniyagala, 1963; Balaenoptera thalmaha thalmaha Deranyagala, 1963; Agaphelus gibbosus Cope, 1968;


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Jefferson, T.A., Leatherwood, S. and Webber, M.A. 1993. FAO Species identification guide. Marine Mammals of the World: UNEP / FAO, Rome, 320 pp.
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