Minke whales feed on fish and various invertebrates; like all baleen whales they filter their food from the water using their baleen plates like sieves (2). Although largely a solitary species, when feeding minke whales can often be seen in pairs, and on particularly good feeding grounds up to a hundred individuals may congregate (2). A number of feeding techniques have been observed, including trapping shoals of fish against the surface of the water (7). After a ten month gestation period, births occur in mid-winter (2), at birth the calf measures up to 2.8 metres in length (5). It will be weaned at four months of age (3), and will stay with its mother for up to two years, becoming sexually mature at seven years of age (7). Minke whales have an average life span of around 50 years (7). Minke whales are fairly inquisitive and often swim by the side of boats for up to half an hour (5).
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