Recently researchers of Thailand unearthed Bryde’s whale skeleton
- Researchers of Thailand have unearthed a rare partially fossilized skeleton belonging to a Bryde’s whale believed to be around 5,000 years old at an inland site west of Bangkok
- The skeleton was found by a cyclist, who spotted part of the vertebrae coming out of the ground, in early November.
- As per the experts, this whale skeleton is thought to be the only one in Asia
About Bryde’s whale
- Bryde’s whales are one of the most poorly understood baleen whale species.
- Also known as ‘tropical whales’, due to their preference for waters of 16° Celsius or higher, they are found in both nearshore and open waters between the latitudes of 40° South and 40° North.
- They can be found both inshore and offshore, and tend to be associated with areas of high productivity, such as upwelling areas.
- Historically Bryde’s whales have been confused with Sei whales, which are larger and have a more temperate and sub-polar distribution.
- Further confusion is caused by uncertainty about the possible existence of two species of Bryde’s whales, which have provisionally been classified as two sub-species with partially overlapping ranges:
- the smaller Eden’s whale (Balaenoptera edeni edeni), and
- usually larger Bryde’s whale (B. e. brydei)
- Another species that was formerly confused with Bryde’s whales is the Omura’s whale (Balaenoptera omurai), which was only described in 2003, and can overlap in range with both sub-species of Bryde’s whale.
- Bryde’s whales can be easily confused with sei whales. The presence of 3 head ridges confirms a whale’s identity as a Bryde’s whale (however, be aware that rippling water on the head of other species can be mistaken for accessory head ridges).
- Fin whale and minke whale can also cause some confusion; size (fin whales are largerand minke whales smaller), head shape, and coloration differences are the best characteristics to use.
- Bryde’s whales predominantly feed on schooling fish (including sardines, anchovies, mackerels and herrings), but they have also been documented to prey on crustaceans like krill, copepods or pelagic red crabs.
- Even squid remains have been detected in some of Bryde’s whale stomach contents.
- They are typically associated with tropical or subtropical areas of unusually high productivity – such as the upwelling areas off the coast of Brazil, South Africa, and in the Arabian Sea
- IUCN: Data deficient
- The species is listed in Appendix II of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and Appendix I of CITES.