Pygmy Whales lives in places such as coasts of Australia, Namibia and South Africa. They can also be found in New Zealand and Chile coasts. They live in water with surface temperature of between 5 and 20 ∞C. They can be found in between 30∞S to 55∞S. This type of whale is the smallest of the baleen species and little is known about it.

How to Distinguish Pygmy Whales from other Species

Pygmy Whales are dark gray on the back side and the color is lighter on the ventral side. Lighter patches can be seen behind the eyes.

Pygmy Whales are about 6 meters (20ft) and 6.5 meters in length. The calves can measure about 1.6 meters to 2.2 meters at birth. Each of the whales weighs about 3,000 and 3,500kg in weight. Pygmy Whales are a type of the right whales that have dorsal fin on their back. The dorsal fin is located at 3/4 down the back. The dorsal fin is crescent-shaped.

It is necessary to know how to distinguish the Pygmy Whales from almost similar dwarf minke. They can also be easily confused with the Antarctic minke whales that are also almost similar. One must check the jaws and flippers carefully to distinguish the Pygmy Whales from these two species. Pygmy Whales have small and slender flippers compared to other right whales. In addition, their flippers have rounded tips. Compared to other right whales, the Pygmy Whales have a small head. Their jaw line is arched and they have a upper jaw that curves towards the tip.

The Pygmy Whales do not have a pronounced jaw line like the rest of the right whales. It is hard to distinguish them from the minke whales because the latter also have a less pronounced jaw line. These two can be distinguished by the fact that the Pygmy Whales have cream-colored baleen plates that are long and narrow. They also have a white gum line. The Pygmy Whales does not raise the flukes when it dives, just like the minke species. They can be distinguished from the minke whales in this respect, because the dorsal cannot be seen while the Pygmy Whales are surfacing.

It is possible to distinguish Pygmy Whales from other right whales because the former do not have callosities.

Watching Pygmy Whales

It has been difficult to study the Pygmy Whales, probably because they are rare and largely inactive compared to other species. Their undulating of the whole of their body when swimming, and thus their thrust in water, is very interesting to observe. Some evidence indicates that they can be found in coastal waters during spring and summer because this is the time they move to these places. They are rare types of whales that can be seen off the Australian coast in groups or in singles.

The global population or their population in Australia is not known. Although little is known about their reproductive health, it is said that they give birth around September and October in the Southern Hemisphere. Research shows that they feed on krill and copepods. Even scientists have studied too little about them, but it is likely that their survival is affected by oceanic pollution.