Marine Mammals Information Database :Illustrated Guide of Marine Mammals

Common minke whale

Scientific Name : Balaenoptera acutorostrata / Japanese Name : minku-kujira

Common minke whale


Order Cetacea
Suborder Mysticeti
Family Balaenopteridae
Genus Balaenoptera
Species acutorostrata
Subspecies -
Subtype -
CITES Appendix I IUCN RedData Status Least Concern
Baleen plates or tooth-Upper jaw 230-325 Baleen plates or tooth-Lower jaw -
At birth At weaning Adult Adult male Adult female
Body length 8-9ft 16.5ft 28-30.0ft - -
Body weight - - 6-9t - -
Feature and Habit
The head is slender and pointed, and the median ridge is conspicuous. The dorsal fin is falcated and pointed. The dorsal side is black and the ventral side is white. They have a V-shaped pattern behind the head. The flippers are small and have a white broad band. The baleen plates are short (less than 0.2m) and the color is white or milky-white. The fringes are fine and white. They have 230 to 325 white to milky white baleen plates. The 50 to 70 throat pleats end at the tip of flippers. They often come near shore, bays, estuaries, and shore banks. They migrate to higher latitude in summer.
Stranding Record(s) in Japan

Marine Mammals Skull Database

A click on the skull thumb nail will bring you to detailed images.

Sex - Reproductive Condition -
Body length - Locality -
Museum No. - Other No. -

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