Named after a Norwegian whaler, Bryde’s (pronounced as ‘broodess’) whale has a slender, streamlined body. The head is V-shaped and longitudinally ridged from the tip of the rostrum to the double blowholes and the central ridge is flanked by two additional ridges, 1-2 cm thick, on either side. A set of 40-70 throat pleats run from the tip of the chin to the aft of the naval. They can reach a length of 17 meters and weigh up to 40 tons.


Their diet consists of small schooling fish (anchovies); also schooling crustaceans.

The body is dark, smoky blue-grey with a cream or blue-grey underside. Throat pleats are yellowish or white.

Bryde’s whales cruise at about 6.5 km/h and can reach speeds of 18-24 km/h. They usually are solitary or paired; occasional aggregations of up to twelve. They are mostly or entirely residents in Sri Lankan waters and are the most common whale species seen in the Maldivian waters.