The Bryde’s whale can mostly be found alone or in mother-calf pairs, but on occasion loose aggregations may form, probably due to the proximity of a productive feeding ground (2) (4). The feeding behaviour of this species is spectacular, and involves the whale lunging forwards through a shoal of fish or krill, mouth opened wide. A vast quantity of prey and water is taken into its mouth, which is accommodated by the expandable region on the underside of the jaw. This is then squeezed back through the closed jaws of the whale, allowing water to escape through the baleen fibres, but trapping food, which is swept off by the huge, rough tongue and swallowed (2).
The Bryde’s whale is one of the livelier rorqual species, frequently breaching clear of the water, and commonly making one to two minute long dives between the surface and depths of 300 metres (2). Migration patterns vary, with coastal populations in tropical waters appearing to remain in the same location throughout the year, whereas populations in subtropical waters may make limited migrations in response to movements of prey (1) (5). In tropical waters, the Bryde’s whale may breed throughout the year, while in sub-tropical waters breeding mainly occurs in winter (5). After a year-long gestation period, a single young is born, already measuring around 4 metres in length. The Bryde’s whale becomes sexually mature at around 8 to 11 years, and has a lifespan of up to 50 years (2).