A pod of approximately 2000 common dolphins as well as a magnificent Bryde’s whale was seen during the Knysna Ocean Odyssey’s Eco trip on Saturday the 5th April. While many of the whale species that frequent our waters are usually seen only during the winter months, the Bryde’s whale is a year round resident along our coastline.
The Bryde’s is a baleen whale, belonging to the same group as blue whales and humpback whales, which use mesh-like mouth plates to filter food from the sea. It has twin blowholes with a low splashguard to the front and two rows of baleen plates. The whale can grow up to 14m long and a weight of 26 tonnes with the female being larger than the male. They are sometimes mistaken for the Sei whale as they are quite similar in appearance and size, although the head of the Bryde’s whale at close range is unmistakable because of its three longitudinal ridges.
The Bryde’s whale prefers water temperatures above 20°, so it is most common in coastal areas of tropical and subtropical waters. Fortunately for the Bryde’s whale, it isn’t usually the target of whalers due to the fact that it doesn’t have thick layers of valuable blubber.
They usually travel solo or in small pods and can dive up to a thousand feet. Ocean Odyssey is fortunate enough to enjoy regular sightings of these ethereal cetaceans.
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