Has large head and eyes and an erect, curved, pointed, "falcate" dorsal fin located far down its back.The flukes are broad and the dorsal fin is visible at the surface. Broad, centrally notched tail flukes never break the surface. The flippers are small and slender. The color varies: the back is generally dark grey or blue to black, the ventral area is a lighter cream, shading to greyish purple on the belly. Some have a number of whitish-grey spots; asymmetrical head coloring, similar to fin whales.
Their blow is columnar, about 3.0 – 4.0 m high and they surface at irregular intervals and can change directions for unknown reasons.
Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans, from 40° South to 40° North. Vagrants have been reported as far north as California and Washington.
90,000 – 100,000
Some populations migrate to higher latitudes during sommer, some populations do not migrate.
Social system/Group size
Usually solitary or in pairs, larger groups have been observed at feeding areas.
Ship strikes, noise and whaling.
Named after Johan Bryde, who helped construct first South African whaling factory.