The North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission


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The behaviour most characteristic of minke whales is lunge feeding. The whales swim at high speeds with their mouth open towards their prey, then close their mouth and expel the water with the prey being caught in the baleen plates.

MRI eta crop0084 Lunge feeding iiLunge feeding minke whale off Iceland. Photo: Marine Research Institute, Iceland.

In the North Atlantic, common minke whales are usually solitary, while in the Southern Hemisphere, minke whales are usually seen in groups.

Common minke whales do not raise their flukes when diving, although the back is well arched. Many of them are very inquisitive and can approach vessels. They can be quite fast swimmers.