Watch a Video of a Fin Whale Breaching (They Don’t Usually Do That)

by Owen James Burke

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Fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus), second in size only to the blue whale,  are not known for breaching like this — at least not in front of cameras — and this may be the best image taken of one yet.

This image (and film) was captured in May off Gibraltar by the Spanish research group CIRCÉ (Conservation, Information et Recherche sur les Cétacés).

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Fin whales are a cosmopolitan species, found in all the world’s oceans. Alisa Schulman-Janiger, who runs the ACS-L.A. Gray Whale Census and Behavior Project in Los Angeles, says that they commonly frequent southern California waters, but that in their project’s 31 years, only a handful of fin whales have breached in front of them.

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