Baleen Whales | Mysticeti

Baleen whales are also called whalebones whales or Mysticeti or toothless whales. They are part of the Cetacea infraorder and possess an extraordinary modification of the mouth (also called baleen) used for filtering food from the water. They are the largest and heaviest carnivorous marine vertebrates that exist today and particularly live in chilly waters of the north and south poles. Baleen whales have small eyes situated close to the end of their mouth for seeing and sensing. Unlike toothed whales that have one blowhole, baleen whales have two blowholes and are regularly hunted for their blubber and oil.

How many blowholes does a Baleen Whale have?

The Baleen Whale has 2 blowholes that serve as its nostrils and are situated at the top of its head. The blows of the Baleen Whale are considered to be bushier than those created by toothed whales who typically only have a single blowhole. Baleen Whales can also expand their throat to gulp large amounts of seawater.

What does a Baleen Whale eat?

The Baleen Whale typically eats krill, fish, zooplankton, phytoplankton, and algae. The Baleen Whale feeds by filtering or straining food from the water they consume. The Baleen Whale has baleen plates which they use to push water out while trapping their food inside for them to swallow.

How did Baleen Whales evolve?

It is believed that Baleen Whales evolved from a common ancestor who lived more than 23 to 25 million years ago. Unfortunately, the common ancestor has not been discovered, but probably lived within the Oligocene period. It is also believed that the earliest ancestor of the toothed whale lived during this time.

* Under Development *

Related Tags
Baleen Whales Guides
Browse through our curated Baleen Whales Guides for additional categorizations, tips, details, variations, styles, and histories of Baleen Whales. Guides provide additional insights into the unique properties and shared relationships between elements.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
13’-16’ | 3.96-4.88 m
25.3’-31.8’ | 7.7-9.7 m
82’-105’ | 25-32 m
55-165 tons | 50-150 metric tons
80-90 years
Blue Whale
488.000
970.000
3200.000
150000.000
90.00
182000
3D
Blue Whale
8.9’-12.1’ | 2.7-3.7 m
14.1’-19.4’ | 4.3-5.9 m
45’-60’ | 13.7-18.3 m
75-100 tons | 68-91 metric tons
150-200 years
Bowhead Whale
370.000
590.000
1830.000
90718.000
200.00
66900
3D
Bowhead Whale
6.6’-7.9’ | 2-2.4 m
10.5’-13.1’ | 3.2-4 m
45’-55’ | 13.7-16.8 m
17-25 tons | 15-23 metric tons
50-70 years
Bryde’s Whale
240.000
400.000
1680.000
22679.000
70.00
1100
3D
Bryde’s Whale
4.3’-5.9’ | 1.3-1.8 m
6.6’-9.2’ | 2-2.8 m
26’-35’ | 7.9-10.7 m
6-10 tons | 5-9 metric tons
40-50 years
Common Minke Whale
180.000
280.000
1070.000
9072.000
50.00
2900
3D
Common Minke Whale
9.5’-11.5’ | 2.9-3.5 m
15.4’-18.4’ | 4.7-5.6 m
75’-90’ | 22.9-27.4 m
74-114 tons | 67-103 metric tons
80-100 years
Fin Whale
350.000
560.000
2740.000
103419.000
100.00
35800
3D
Fin Whale
6.9’-8.5’ | 2.1-2.6 m
10.2’-11.5’ | 3.1-3.5 m
40’-50’ | 12.2-15.2 m
30-41 tons | 27-37 metric tons
55-80 years
Gray Whale
260.000
350.000
1520.000
37195.000
80.00
22300
3D
Gray Whale
8’-9’8” | 2.44-2.97 m
12.1’-14.8’ | 3.7-4.5 m
43’-52’ | 13-16 m
27.5-33 tons | 25-30 metric tons
45-100 years
Humpback Whale
297.000
450.000
1600.000
30000.000
100.00
63200
3D
Humpback Whale
9.2’-11.1’ | 2.8-3.4 m
14.8’-18’ | 4.5-5.5 m
43’-52’ | 13.1-15.8 m
44-75 tons | 40-68 metric tons
50-70 years
North Atlantic Right Whale
340.000
550.000
1580.000
68039.000
70.00
11000
3D
North Atlantic Right Whale
11.5’-15.1’ | 3.5-4.6 m
17.1’-23’ | 5.2-7 m
49’-65’ | 14.9-19.8 m
80-100 tons | 73-91 metric tons
50-70 years
North Pacific Right Whale
460.000
700.000
1980.000
90718.000
70.00
3500
3D
North Pacific Right Whale
2.7’-3.6’ | .83-1.09 m
4.3’-5.6’ | 1.3-1.7 m
16’-21’ | 4.9-6.4 m
3-4 tons | 2.7-3.6 metric tons
20-40 years
Pygmy Right Whale
109.000
170.000
640.000
3629.000
40.00
1300
3D
Pygmy Right Whale
5.9’-8.9’ | 1.8-2.7 m
11.2’-16.1’ | 3.4-4.9 m
45’-65’ | 13.7-19.8 m
18-30 tons | 16-27 metric tons
50-75 years
Sei Whale
270.000
490.000
1980.000
27215.000
75.00
14700
3D
Sei Whale
10.5’-12.8’ | 3.2-3.9 m
17.4’-21.7’ | 5.3-6.6 m
50’-60’ | 15.2-18.3 m
47-90 tons | 43-82 metric tons
60-80 years
Southern Right Whale
390.000
660.000
1830.000
81647.000
80.00
10150
3D
Southern Right Whale
Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus)
Measured comparison illustration of the size of a Fin Whale to a typical person and sea cows

The Fin whale is number two after the blue whale in terms of weight, size, and body length. The Fin whale or common rorqual or finback whale or herring whale or razorback whale fall under the family Balaenopteridae and also are cosmopolitan species preferring the open ocean and less of an ice pack or small areas of water. The Fin whale is identified by a long, slender body with brownish-grey back and paler underside. Fin whales spot a distinct ridge behind their dorsal fin, paired blowhole, and pointed snout. Additionally, they are filter feeders often traveling in pairs or alone and frequently encountered on whale-watching exercise.

Fin Whales have a total length between 75’-90’ (22.9-27.4 m), body height of 9.5’-11.5’ (2.9-3.5 m), and width of 15.4’-18.4’ (4.7-5.6 m). The typical weight of the Fin Whale is in the range of 74-114 tons (67-103 metric tons). Fin Whale have lifespans between 80-100 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Fin Whale in front and side poses
The Fin whale is number two after the blue whale in terms of weight, size, and body length. The Fin whale or common rorqual or finback whale or herring whale or razorback whale fall under the family Balaenopteridae and also are cosmopolitan species preferring the open ocean.

Fin Whales have a total length between 75’-90’ (22.9-27.4 m), body height of 9.5’-11.5’ (2.9-3.5 m), and width of 15.4’-18.4’ (4.7-5.6 m). The typical weight of the Fin Whale is in the range of 74-114 tons (67-103 metric tons). Fin Whale have lifespans between 80-100 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Fin Whale in front and side poses
Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus)
Height:
9.5’-11.5’ | 2.9-3.5 m
Width:
15.4’-18.4’ | 4.7-5.6 m
Length:
75’-90’ | 22.9-27.4 m
Depth:
Weight:
74-114 tons | 67-103 metric tons
Area:
Scientific Name
Balaenoptera physalus
Lifespan
80-100 years

Drawings include:

Fin Whale side elevation, front, top

Details & Downloads

Downloads

2D Downloads

3D Downloads

Sei Whale (Balaenoptera borealis)
Scale illustration of an average Sei Whale with dimensions length compared to a human and sea cows

Sei whales compare to the cheetah because of their ability to sprint and tire quickly. They are the fourth-largest rorqual when compared to other baleen relatives and prefer deep offshore waters. They fall under the family Balaenopteridae or ”winged whales” inhabiting most oceans except the equatorial waters and cold polar regions. They have a lifespan of 70 years and migrate annually. Sei whales are identified by a distinctive upright dorsal fin near their posterior with a white coating on their underside and bodies covered in oval-shaped scars. These animals prefer to travel solo or in small pods and sink below the surface rather than arch their backs when diving like other baleen whales.

Sei Whales have a total length between 45’-65’ (13.7-19.8 m), body height of 5.9’-8.9’ (1.8-2.7 m), and width of 11.2’-16.1’ (3.4-4.9 m). The typical weight of the Sei Whale is in the range of 18-30 tons (16-27 metric tons). Sei Whale have lifespans between 50-75 years.

Pair of elevation illustrations of the Sei Whale seen from the side and front
Sei whales compare to the cheetah because of their ability to sprint and tire quickly. They are the fourth-largest rorqual when compared to other baleen relatives and prefer deep offshore waters. They fall under the family Balaenopteridae or ”winged whales” inhabiting most oceans except the equator.

Sei Whales have a total length between 45’-65’ (13.7-19.8 m), body height of 5.9’-8.9’ (1.8-2.7 m), and width of 11.2’-16.1’ (3.4-4.9 m). The typical weight of the Sei Whale is in the range of 18-30 tons (16-27 metric tons). Sei Whale have lifespans between 50-75 years.

Pair of elevation illustrations of the Sei Whale seen from the side and front
Sei Whale (Balaenoptera borealis)
Height:
5.9’-8.9’ | 1.8-2.7 m
Width:
11.2’-16.1’ | 3.4-4.9 m
Length:
45’-65’ | 13.7-19.8 m
Depth:
Weight:
18-30 tons | 16-27 metric tons
Area:
Scientific Name
Balaenoptera borealis
Lifespan
50-75 years

Drawings include:

Sei Whale side elevation, front, top

Details & Downloads

Downloads

2D Downloads

3D Downloads

North Pacific Right Whale (Eubalaena japonica)
Measured comparison illustration of the size of a North Pacific Right Whale to a typical person and sea cows

The North Pacific right whales are among the rarest, endangered whale species in the family Balaenidae. These animals live or are frequently sighted in the Bering Sea, North Pacific, and western North Pacific. They are usually larger than the North Atlantic right whales though they share some similarities like lack of dorsal fin, V-shaped spout, plus lips coated in callosities. The North Pacific right whale has the thickest baleen, with females being larger than males. They also have an enormous head with a bumpy appearance. North Pacific right whales are social, playful, inquisitive, and love to breach besides slapping their flippers as they roll.

North Pacific Right Whales have a total length between 49’-65’ (14.9-19.8 m), body height of 11.5’-15.1’ (3.5-4.6 m), and width of 17.1’-23’ (5.2-7 m). The typical weight of the North Pacific Right Whale is in the range of 80-100 tons (73-91 metric tons). North Pacific Right Whale have lifespans between 50-70 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of North Pacific Right Whale in front and side poses
The North Pacific right whales are among the rarest, endangered whale species in the family Balaenidae. These animals live or are frequently sighted in the Bering Sea, North Pacific, and western North Pacific. They are usually larger than the North Atlantic right whales though they are similar.

North Pacific Right Whales have a total length between 49’-65’ (14.9-19.8 m), body height of 11.5’-15.1’ (3.5-4.6 m), and width of 17.1’-23’ (5.2-7 m). The typical weight of the North Pacific Right Whale is in the range of 80-100 tons (73-91 metric tons). North Pacific Right Whale have lifespans between 50-70 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of North Pacific Right Whale in front and side poses
North Pacific Right Whale (Eubalaena japonica)
Height:
11.5’-15.1’ | 3.5-4.6 m
Width:
17.1’-23’ | 5.2-7 m
Length:
49’-65’ | 14.9-19.8 m
Depth:
Weight:
80-100 tons | 73-91 metric tons
Area:
Scientific Name
Eubalaena japonica
Lifespan
50-70 years

Drawings include:

North Pacific Right Whale side elevation, front, top

Details & Downloads

Downloads

2D Downloads

3D Downloads

Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus)
Size comparison drawing of a Blue Whale compared to a person with measurements for overall length

Blue Whales are the largest known animal in the world; growing up to 98' (30 m) and weighing up to 173 tons (157,000 kgs). They can be found living in the North Atlantic, North Pacific and parts of the Southern Hemisphere. Just like their name, Blue Whales have a long-tapered body and have a bluish-grey dorsal. Blue whales don’t have teeth, but instead have large baleen which help separate sea water from krill after they swallow. After separation, the water is is filtered back out of their mouths through the baleen, while air from their lungs is expelled through their blow hole.

The typical Blue Whale has an overall height of 13’-16’ (3.96-4.88 m) and body length of 82’-105’ (25-32 m). An average Blue Whale weighs between 55-165 tons (50-150 metric tons) and has a typical lifespan of 80-90 years.

Illustrations of Blue Whales seen in various positions from the top, front and breaching
Blue Whales are the largest known animal in the world; growing up to 98 feet (30 meters) and weighing up to 173 tons (157,000 kgs). Just like their name, Blue Whales have a long-tapered body and have a bluish-grey dorsal. Blue whales don’t have teeth, but instead have large baleen systems.

The typical Blue Whale has an overall height of 13’-16’ (3.96-4.88 m) and body length of 82’-105’ (25-32 m). An average Blue Whale weighs between 55-165 tons (50-150 metric tons) and has a typical lifespan of 80-90 years.

Illustrations of Blue Whales seen in various positions from the top, front and breaching
Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus)
Height:
13’-16’ | 3.96-4.88 m
Width:
25.3’-31.8’ | 7.7-9.7 m
Length:
82’-105’ | 25-32 m
Depth:
Weight:
55-165 tons | 50-150 metric tons
Area:
Scientific Name
Balaenoptera musculus
Lifespan
80-90 years

Drawings include:
Blue Whale side elevation, front, top, breaching

Details & Downloads

Downloads

2D Downloads

3D Downloads

Pygmy Right Whale (Caperea marginata)
Dimensioned comparison drawing of the Pygmy Right Whale compared to other sea cows and a person

Pygmy right whales are no featherweights as their name may suggest but when compared to other filter-feeding whales, they are the smallest spotting flat round heads and ivory-colored baleen. Pygmy right whales are members of the family Cetotheres and native to the Southern Hemisphere or southern oceans. Pygmy right whales, unlike other right whales, have sickle-shaped dorsal fins, bodies that are sleeker and more streamlined and small, narrowly rounded flippers. Additionally, Pygmy right whales are social and prefer gathering in groups and spending less time on the surface. They also spot pale highlighting running along their underside to the tail.

Pygmy Right Whales have a total length between 16’-21’ (4.9-6.4 m), body height of 2.7’-3.6’ (.83-1.09 m), and width of 4.3’-5.6’ (1.3-1.7 m). The typical weight of the Pygmy Right Whale is in the range of 3-4 tons (2.7-3.6 metric tons). Pygmy Right Whale have lifespans between 20-40 years.

Set of scaled elevation drawings of the Pygmy Right Whale viewed from the front and side
Pygmy right whales are no featherweights as their name may suggest but when compared to other filter-feeding whales, they are the smallest spotting flat round heads and ivory-colored baleen. Pygmy right whales are members of the family Cetotheres and native to the Southern Hemisphere.

Pygmy Right Whales have a total length between 16’-21’ (4.9-6.4 m), body height of 2.7’-3.6’ (.83-1.09 m), and width of 4.3’-5.6’ (1.3-1.7 m). The typical weight of the Pygmy Right Whale is in the range of 3-4 tons (2.7-3.6 metric tons). Pygmy Right Whale have lifespans between 20-40 years.

Set of scaled elevation drawings of the Pygmy Right Whale viewed from the front and side
Pygmy Right Whale (Caperea marginata)
Height:
2.7’-3.6’ | .83-1.09 m
Width:
4.3’-5.6’ | 1.3-1.7 m
Length:
16’-21’ | 4.9-6.4 m
Depth:
Weight:
3-4 tons | 2.7-3.6 metric tons
Area:
Scientific Name
Caperea marginata
Lifespan
20-40 years

Drawings include:

Pygmy Right Whale side elevation, front, top

Details & Downloads

Downloads

2D Downloads

3D Downloads

Related Animals Collections
Animals