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Visible in our waters all year long, the Minke Whale is the smallest cetacean in the North Pacific, similar in size to Orcas. These generally solitary whales avoid boats but can be seen from a distance. Although they’re sometimes mistaken for Fin Whales in certain parts of the world, Minke Whales are much smaller. Everything about them – including their small, rarely-seen blow – is a little bit mysterious and elusive.

How do you spot a Minke Whale? Look for the wheeling flocks of seabirds! These gentle giants are no dummies: they let the birds do the hard work of schooling the fish together, and then they come along and coast right through the school of fish, mouth wide open.

Although Minke Whales become sexually mature around age seven or eight, no one has ever seen them actually…making “mini-Minkes”. (We suspect it’s rather similar to other whales. But that’s just a guess.)

In our waters and around the world, these whales need to be on guard for mammal eating Orcas, who aren’t at all opposed to taking a mouthful of Minke. If a Killer Whale sneaks up on a Minke Whale in open waters, chances are the Minke can out-swim the Killer Whale over a long enough distance – they’re amazing endurance athletes.

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