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Sei whale facts for kids

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Sei whale
Sei whale mother and calf Christin Khan NOAA.jpg
Sei whale mother and calf
Sei whale size.svg
Size compared to an average human
Conservation status

Endangered (ESA)
Scientific classification
  • B.b.borealis
  • B.b.schlegelii
Cypron-Range Balaenoptera borealis.svg
Sei whale range
  • Balaena rostrata Rudolphi, 1822
  • Balaenoptera laticeps Gray, 1846
  • Sibbaldius laticeps Flower, 1864
  • Physalus laticeps Flower, 1864
  • Rudolphius laticeps Gray, 1868

The sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis) is a dark-gray, stream-lined baleen whale that is found worldwide except in polar waters. It swims in small pods of 3-5 whales but larger groups may form at rich feeding grounds. It has very fine grey-black baleen that traps very small particles of food. It is a rorqual whale (a large baleen whale) that is similar to the Bryde's whales.


The Sei whale is also called the Sardine whale, the Pollack whale, the Coalfish whale, the Japan Finner, and Rudolphi's rorqual. Large numbers of these whales were hunted until recently for their oil and meat. It is the fastest of the great whales and can swim at about 23 mph (20 knots) in short bursts.


Sei whales are carnivores that filter-feed plankton (tiny crustaceans like krill, copepods, etc.) and small fish from the water.

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Balaenoptera borealis para niños

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