What is a Razorback Whale?
"Razorback" is a nickname for the Finback Whale (Balaenoptera physalus). The Finback is often called the "Razorback" because of its' very distinctive ridges between the dorsal fin and the tail.
Razorback whales are the second largest animals in the world, second in size only to the enormous Blue Whales. Razorback whales grow to as large as 79 feet (24 meters) long. They are also among the fastest of the great whales, capable of a sustained speed of up to 23 mph (37 kph) (about the same speed as USS Razorback).
Razorback whales can be found across the entire globe, but generally prefer temperate and polar waters. They migrate from their summer feeding grounds in the Arctic and Antarctic to winter breeding and calving grounds in subtropical waters. In the Northern Atlantic, the Razorback ranges from the Arctic to the Gulf of Mexico. Northern Pacific Razorbacks range from the Bering Sea as far south as Cabo San Lucas, Baja California. They are an important eco-tourism resource in many areas, as they migrate along coastal areas. Although they are easily spooked by noisy boats, they will swim up to a stopped vessel.
The "Razorback" whale is considered endangered worldwide, due to severe population depletion by commercial whaling.