The fin whale (balaenoptera physolus)
Driggsby is a young (juvenile) fin whale. An adult, like the one shown here, would have grown to about 20 metres (66 feet) long and weighed around 50 tonnes - more than eight bull African elephants, or 500 of you!
Fin whales, like other Ceteceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises), have many adaptations in their bodies to enable them to spend their entire lives in water as aquatic marine mammals.
1. The tail fin (or fluke) is horizontal, like in all whales, dolphins and porpoises, and moves up-and-down.
2. Did you know? A fish has a vertical tail, which moves side-to-side.
3. The up-and-down motion of the tail generates forward movement.
4. No visible hindlimbs (back legs). These have been reduced to tiny bones inside in the muscle.
5. Streamlined shape, like a torpedo, with strong, smooth skin to reduce friction (drag).
6. Did you know? Fin Whales are one of the fastest whales, earning them the nickname 'greyhounds of the sea'.
7. The dorsal fin acts like the keel of a sailboat, to prevent sideways rolling. It's shape is used to identify different species.
8. Thick layer of blubber provides insulation.
9. The pectoral fins have fixed elbow joints and are used in steering, like the rudder of a sailboat.
10. Horizontal grooves (pleats) allow enormous expansion of throat and jaw during feeding; enabling the whale to take in its entire body weight (50 tonnes) of water.
11. Ear bones that 'float' inside the head allow improved underwater hearing.
12. The whale breathes out warm air, which condenses into water vapour forming the ‘blow’. Different species have different ‘blows’.The whale breathes through the blowholes; nostrils which have moved to the back of the head.
13. Asymmetrical coloration: the left side of the jaw is dark slate grey.
14. Instead of teeth, baleen plates composed of keratin (the material that makes up your hair and fingernails) hang down from the upper jaw. Bristles on the inside of the baleen act as a sieve for tiny plankton and small fish. 16. (Close-up of plankton). Fin whales feed mainly on planktonic krill (shrimp-like crustaceans) but will also eat small fish including herring, mackerel and capelin.