Skip to main content
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals

place holder

  Cetacea · Balaenopteridae · Balaenoptera edeni

Search the Archive
 • Species Name
 • Family Tree
 • Conservaton Status
 • Skulls
 • Bones and Teeth
Field Guide
 • Map Search
   Including search by
     • Location
     • Ecoregion
     • Species
     • National Park
 • About Maps
dotted line
   Teacher Resources
   About the Site
dotted line
Smithsonian Institution
Copyright Notice
Privacy Notice

Balaenoptera edeni

Bryde's Whale

Order: Cetacea
Family: Balaenopteridae

Image of Balaenoptera edeni
Balaenoptera edeni - lower left inset: view of head from top; spray pattern
Click to enlarge. (52 kb)

Conservation Status: Data Deficient.

Found worldwide in warm-temperate and tropical waters, Bryde's whale avoids cold water, unlike most rorquals. Some individuals tend to live in coastal waters; others are migratory and occur well offshore. Bryde's eats more fish than many other balaenopterids. They have been seen feeding on schools of anchovies, sardines, herrings, and light fish. They also feed on a variety of crustaceans. We know little about their breeding habits or social behavior. Calves are born after about a year's gestation, and nurse until they are about six months old. A female bears one calf every two or three years.

Also known as:

Range: 11.9-14.6 m males; 12.2-15.6 m females

Range: 11,300-16,200 kg


Anderson, 1879.  Anatomical and Zoological Researches: comprising an account of the zoological results of the two expeditions to the Western Yunnan in 1868 and 1875. p. 551, pl. 44.


Mammal Species of the World (opens in a new window).

Distribution of Balaenoptera edeni

Image of Balaenoptera edeni
Balaenoptera edeni baleen (shown with B. borealis baleen)
Click to enlarge. (81kb)