Bryde’s Whale or Eden’s Whale – Balaenoptera edeni / brydei
The Bryde’s whale, also known as the Eden’s whale, belongs to the family or rorqual and is therefore part of the infraorder of whales. Balaenoptera edeni was first described by Anderson in 1878.
It is named after the Norwegian whaler Johan Bryde, which is why the species is pronounced “Brüde Whale”.
Based on genetic research in 1993, it was found that Balaenoptera edeni and Balaenoptera brydei are different species. So far, however, Bryde whales and Fin whales have been considered as one species. Accordingly, Balaenoptera brydei is to be seen at present only as a synonym.
Description, Anatomy & Characteristics
The Bryde whale has, apart from white throat and belly, a dark-gray coluored body.
Characteristic are 3 bulges at the upper side of the head. Their body is still more elongated, than that of the Fin Whale and thus still slimmer.
Balaenoptera edeni can become over 15m long and weighs up to 25t.
Habitat, Distribution & Occurrence
The Bryde’s whale occurs in all oceans, however only in temperate, subtropical and tropical zones. Its range lies between 40° north and 40° south. Oceans such as the Mediterranean or the Red Sea with narrow accesses are excluded.
When diving on the Canary Islands you can only observe it very rarely. However, you can see it more often on whale watching tours.
Biology & Feeding
Balaenoptera edeni lives in pairs or small groups, mostly in waters with more than 20° water temperature.
It is a rather territorial species compared to other rorquals. Migrations of the species are rather short, whereby they depend on food occurrences. Their diet consists mainly of small schooling fish. In addition, planktonic crustaceans and cephalopods are on their diet.
Brydewale become sexually mature at the age of 8-13 years. The reproduction takes place in a 2-year-rhytm, with what they seem to mate all year round. The climax of the mating-time however lies in August. A female is pregnant for about 12 months. When a calf is born it is 3.5 to 4m long and weighs 1000kg.