Fin whales and blue whales are two popular aquatic animals. Let us do a comparative study of the two.
Fin whales and blue whales belong to the Balaenopteridae family and are known for their large size, grooved chest, unique dorsal fin, and unfused cervical vertebrae. There are several points of similarity between the two species but they also differ in terms of coloring, appearance, and general habitat requirements.
There are a lot of questions people ask about blue whales and fin whales. Today, we will look at some of the most common questions.
Image Credits: Patrick Lyne, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
What is the difference between fin whales and blue whales?
Whales are magnificent creatures but they are not all the same. Let us learn the difference between fin whales and blue whales.
Fin whales are larger than blue whales and have a distinct dark-brown or black coloration whereas blue whales have a blue-gray color. Besides, fin whales have a more pointed head and a sleeker appearance. In addition, blue whales have smaller dorsal fins than fin whales. Also, blue whales are taller than fin whales.
The basic point of distinction between the two whale types is their coloration. So, even if you can’t tell the difference through their physique, you can always tell them apart through their unique coloring.
Are fin whales stronger than blue whales?
Image Credits: “Blue Whales on the Surface by Dan Shapiro (NOAA)” by pingnews.com is licensed under CC PDM 1.0
Needless to say, whales are powerful animals. But, are fin whales stronger than blue whales? Let us find out.
Fin whales are not stronger than blue whales. In fact, blue whales are the strongest vertebrate. They can swim quickly through water and have tremendous energy. These animals use their baleen plates to sift food through water and are not active hunters like fin whales.
We must mention here that although blue whales are good swimmers, fin whales are faster than them and are considered to be among the fastest marine animals.
Fin whales vs blue whales height
Fin whales and blue whales are both large marine animals. But, do they have any height difference? Let’s find out.
On average, grown male fin whales grow up to 60-66 feet whereas grown blue whales grow up to 70 to 80 feet. Generally, the female species of both these varieties are taller than their male counterparts. There have also been records of a blue whale in the South Atlantic growing up to 110 feet.
Thus, although both blue whales and fin whales are quite similar in terms of height, you can tell them apart since fin whales tend to be more slender.
Fin whales vs blue whales weight
Both fin whales and blue whales are large, bulky animals. So, if you are wondering how they differ in terms of weight, let us take a look.
On average, a grown fin whale weighs between 40 to 80 tonnes. On the other hand, blue whales weigh around 150 tonnes. However, the height and weight of these two species differ from region to region. Of course, newborn fin whales and blue whales are much smaller, both in terms of size and weight.
Needless to say, their massive height makes blue whales the largest marine animal. However, fin whales are not far behind and considered the second largest.
Fin whales vs blue whales behavior
Naturally, you will be curious to know if there is any difference between the behavioral patterns of fin whales and blue whales. Let’s take a look.
Fin whales are more social than blue whales. They can often be spotted swimming in groups of two to seven. However, most blue whales prefer swimming by themselves although they are spotted in pairs or groups too. A point of similarity between these two species is that they are both extremely non-aggressive towards humans.
Fin whales vs blue whales habitat
Despite their similarities, fin whales and blue whales are essentially different animals with differing needs. Let’s learn more about their habitat.
Blue whales are more popularly found in the southern hemisphere whereas fin whales are found usually in temperate to polar regions. Fin whales are not as common in the tropics whereas blue whales are usually found in all major ocean bodies except the region around the Arctic.
Blue whales and fin whales are widely distributed across the globe and also migrate to find a suitable environment during peak summer and winter months.
Fin whales vs blue whales diet
A common question asked about fin whales and blue whales pertains to their diet. Let us learn more in this regard.
Fin whales and blue whales have a similar diet which comprises krill. However, while blue whales primarily feed on krill, fin whales consume a variety of items such as schooling fishes (sand lance, herring, etc.), copepods and squid. Blue whales use their baleen plates to strain through water and derive their food.
We must mention here that blue whales also feed on squid and crustaceans. However, krill forms the major part of their diet. Also, both these animals have baleen plates instead of teeth. These plates have a comb-like appearance and are used to sift their food through water.
Fin whales vs blue whales predators
Both fin whales and blue whales are susceptible to predators, despite their massive size. Allow us to tell you more in this regard.
Fin whales and blue whales have only one natural predator, namely the killer whale. Owing to their massive size and excellent swimming abilities, they are able to avoid being preyed on. Usually, it is only the young fin whales and blue whales that fall prey to the killer sharks.
The major warning to fin whales and blue whales is not posed by other marine animals but climate change and harmful substances in the ocean has also resulted in habitat loss for them.
Fin whales and blue whales form an important part of the marine ecosystem and help sustain ecological balance in the aquatic world. These are massive animals who can glide effortlessly through water to derive their food. However, over the years, the population of both these species has decreased as they are actively hunted for their meat, oil, and cartilage. Therefore, several steps have been taken by environmentalists to avoid the exploitation of these species for commercial gains.