Baleen Whales of the Tropics

Byrde’s whales are members of the roqual family of whales along with blue and humpback whales. They have baleen instead of hard teeth, filtering nearly 1,500 pounds of krill, shrimp, copepods, and tiny fish as food every day. These long, slim species can be found in tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate waters around the world, specifically between 40 degrees south and 40 degrees north of the equator. Some of their populations migrate according to the seasons while other populations are considered resident, meaning they do not migrate.

Usually seen alone or in pairs, they spend most of their day within 50 feet of the water’s surface where their food lives, making them fairly easy to spot from the boat or while diving. They are commonly sighted from boats since they have the ability to blow water from their blowholes 10-13 feet into the air. While scuba diving with Byrde’s whales keep a safe distance as they have been known to change directions unexpectedly while swimming. If you’ve always wanted to go diving with them, explore the map below to find a dive site near you where they have been seen.