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The Whales of Antarctica

Whales don’t recognize national boundaries. But they do have core geographies and habitats where they most often roam—whether to rest, mate, frolic, or feed. Discover a few of the Antarctic’s marine residents.

ILLUSTRATION © OWEN DAVEY/FOLIO ART

 
 
 
 
 

KILLER WHALES SMALL TYPE B2
Orcinus orca
STATUS Data Deficient
LENGTH 23–31 ft
DIET Seals, baleen whales, penguins

SPERM WHALE
Physeter microcephalus
STATUS Vulnerable
LENGTH 52.5–66 ft
DIET Squid (primary) with fish

HUMPBACK WHALE
Megaptera novaeangliae
STATUS Endangered
LENGTH 39–49ft
DIET Krill with small amounts of fish and plankton

SOUTHERN RIGHT WHALE
Eubalaena australis
STATUS Least Concern
LENGTH 44–52.5 ft
DIET Krill and copepods

KILLER WHALES TYPE A
Orcinus orca
STATUS Data Deficient
LENGTH 23–31 ft
DIET Seals, baleen whales, penguins

ANTARCTIC BLUE WHALE
Balaenoptera musculus intermedia
STATUS Critically Endangered
LENGTH 88.5–110 ft
DIET Krill

KILLER WHALES LARGE TYPE B1
Orcinus orca
STATUS Data Deficient
LENGTH 23–31 ft
DIET Seals, baleen whales, penguins

SEI WHALE
Balaenoptera borealis
STATUS Endangered
LENGTH 49–52.5 ft
DIET Krill with small fish, squid, copepods

ANTARCTIC MINKE WHALE
Balaenoptera bonaerensis
STATUS Near Threatened
LENGTH 29.5–36 ft
DIET Krill

FIN WHALE
Balaenoptera physalus
STATUS Endangered
LENGTH 66–85 ft
DIET Krill

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World Wildlife magazine provides an inspiring, in-depth look at the connections between animals, people and our planet. Published quarterly by WWF, the magazine helps make you a part of our efforts to solve some of the most pressing issues facing the natural world.

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