Whale Watching in Cabo | Brydes Whale | iTravel - Cabo
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Fact:

- Bryde’s whale is a baleen whale that prefers tropical or temperate seas, unlike the majority of their cousins, the rest of the Rorquals.

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Bryde’s Whale

Bryde's Whale

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Bryde’s whales are largely a coastal species, not often venturing out into the deep oceans. Bryde’s whales are found in the Sea of Cortez, off the coast of the Baja peninsula, especially during the sardine migration season over the San Jaime and Golden Gate Banks.

Bryde’s whales are still under scientific debate as to their exact taxonomy, there is much debate over possible subspecies. They reach about 40 feet in length with a dark dorsal coloration and a white underbelly weighing in at 25 tonnes. They have the typical Rorqual shape, hydrodynamical streamlined body, the front third comprising the head and relatively large jaw structure.

Bryde’s whales have twin blowholes and a falcate dorsal fin located far down its back. The rostrum has 3 prominent ridges, which is the easiest way to distinguish this species from Sei whales. The tail flukes are broad but seldom break the surface at the whale moves, however the dorsal fin is quite evident.

Not a lot is known about Bryde’s whales breeding habits, as there seem to be geo-distinct species with differing habits. However, Bryde’s whales seem to breed in any season, with a peak during autumn months in the Northern Hemisphere. Gestation is about 12 months; a 13 foot calf weighing 2000 pounds is born, that the mother will nurse for 6 to 12 months. They reach sexual maturity between 8 to 13 years of age, typically close to their full size of 40 feet.

Feeding behavior seems to be an opportunistic medley of strategies and bait. Bryde’s whales have been observed feeding by surface skimming, underwater lunging and even bubble netting. Their diet then consists of small schools of bait fish (this is what we typically observe here in Cabo during the sardine migration), plankton and crustaceans.

Very little is known about Bryde’s whales and their behaviors. They have proven to be a difficult species to study, with what has been described as ‘erratic behavior’. They seem to change direction underwater with no known provocation, blow bubbles under the surface and surface at erratic intervals. Typically Bryde’s whales are found alone or in pairs, normally only found in aggregations around concentrated food supply.

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