How long do they live? Researchers know that Bryde’s whales can reach at least 72 years old [1], but very little data has been collected about this species.

Where are they found? In warm ocean waters throughout the world. Bryde’s whales can dive nearly 1000 feet deep [2].

What do they eat? Like other baleen whales, Bryde’s whales filter plankton and small fish from the water.

What do they look like? They are dark grey with a curved dorsal fin and can grow to be 45 feet long and weigh up to 16.5 tons  [2]. See figures 1, 2, and 3.

Figure 1. Bryde’s whale
Figure 2. Another Byrd’s whale.
Figure 3. A lovely backdrop.

How do they reproduce? Sexual maturity is reached between 10 and 13 years old, but not too much more is known about this species [2]. I could not find any reproductive senescence information.

How do scientists know how old they are? That’s a terrific question that I just couldn’t seem to find the answer to. I’m going to assume by using age estimates based on the waxy ear plugs of dead whales because that’s the most common technique I have read being used for whale age estimations.

So what are we lacking? Bullet point time:

  • Conservation status: Data deficient as listed on the IUCN Red List website.
  • Researchers do not know how many Bryde’s whales are in the world’s oceans or if their numbers are declining.
  • Nuclear genome information is not available on the NCBI website.
  • Age verification data. Some websites list Bryde’s whales as living over 70 years old and other ones, such as Animal Diversity Web, which is a reputable website, state that lifespan data is unknown.
  • Anything about reproductive senescence would be great to know too.

What do we have?

  • The mitochondrial genome is uploaded to NCBI for Balaenoptera edeni.

If there’s anyone out there that can contribute to some of the missing information for this species then please feel free to contact me.


  1. Allen, S., J. Mortenson, S. Webb. 2011. Field Guide to Marine Mammals of the Pacific Coast. California, US: University of California Press.
  2. Animal Balaenoptera edeniBryde’s whale.  Accessed  10/16/2016