What's on the move

Blue whale

Balaenoptera musculus

(Image credit: David Donnelly)

Blue whales have very long slender bodies with a relatively small dorsal fin located approximately two thirds the way along the body. They have a broad, flat head with a distinct raised single ridge leading to a large splash guard around the blowholes. Coloration is greyish-blue with mottled pigmentation. The blow is tall and column shaped reaching a height of up to 10-12 m. Two types of blue whale are found in Australian waters; the pygmy and Antarctic. The pygmy blue whale is a subspecies and is the most commonly sighted in Australian coastal waters.

Although Australia-wide distribution, important feeding areas are: Perth Canyon, Western Australia and upwelling areas of South Australia and Victoria.

Sighted seasonally in coastal and oceanic waters of Australia and the Australian Antarctic Territory. Regulalry sighted off western Victoria, eastern Tasmania, eastern South Australia and the Perth Canyon, Western Australia

Length: Up to 30 m


Coastal and offshore; 10-500 m depth

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Related links/info

Species names on the Redmap site are based on the Codes for Australian Aquatic Biota or CAAB (http://www.cmar.csiro.au/caab/). This is updated regularly and lists the approved common name, family, species name and more.

Species descriptions were provided by David Donnelly.


For more information: http://www.dolphinresearch.org.au/

Number of sightings 0

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