Antarctic minke whale surfacing in Antarctic waters

Antarctic minke whale

Antarctic minke whales were, until recently, considered a subspecies of the common minke whale. The two species are hard to tell apart. Antarctic minkes lack the white flipper patch and are slightly larger in size, but by whale standards they're still small, being no more than 10m long and weighing nine tonnes.

There are large numbers of these baleen whales in the oceans of the southern hemisphere, often congregating near or amongst the Antarctic pack ice. It is here, that small groups form of between two and four individuals. They use their beaks to break breathing holes in the ice. Some populations of Antarctic minke whales migrate between summer and winter feeding grounds. Others remain in Antarctic waters all year.

Scientific name: Balaenoptera bonaerensis

Rank: Species

Common names:

Southern minke whale

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The Antarctic minke whale can be found in a number of locations including: Antarctica. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Antarctic minke whale distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web