The Sei whale according to MammalMAP
Sei whales (Balaenoptera borealis) are long, slender whales that are more streamlined than the other large whales belonging to the Balaenopteridae family. They are usually between 12 – 16 meters long and weigh in between the ranges of 20 000 – 25 000 kgs.
Little is known about social dynamics and communication structure of sei whales but groups of 2 – 5 animals are usually seen. Groups of thousands can occur when food is abundant and during times of migration. Sei whales typically live in sub-polar and temperate regions in the summer then migrate to sub- tropical waters in winter to breed (May – July).
Sei whales are among the fastest cetaceans, swimming up to 50 km/hr. However, they are not good divers – they rarely dive deeper than 300 m. Sei whales also tend to be surface feeders. Like other baleen whales, they skim the water for surface plankton, copepods and krill. They also ingest small schooling fish and squid.
The IUCN lists sei whales as an endangered species. The global population has been reduced by 80% due to commercial whaling in the past. Sei whales are now internationally protected although hunting occurs under a controversial research program conducted by Japan.
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