Fun Sei Whale Facts For Kids

Martha Martins
Nov 19, 2022 By Martha Martins
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Tehil David
Sei whale facts that they are found in Indian and Pacific oceans.

Do you know what baleen whales are? Let us study some of the exciting features of the Baleen Sei whale.

Sei whales are the ninth-largest living creatures on the earth and one among the baleen whales. Baleen whales don't have teeth; instead, they have comb-like plates that are known as baleen plates.

It is the third most giant whale (the Blue whale remains first and the Fin whale occupies the second position). The scientific name of these whales is Balaenoptera borealis, which means winged whale, and borealis means northern.

There are two subspecies. One is the northern sei whale (B. b. borealis), and the second is the southern Sei whale (B. b. schlegelii).

The researchers can locate them when they leave the fluke prints on the water surface during their dives. Though they are fast swimmers, they may not be considered excellent divers, as while diving they don't rise at greater heights above the waters, they are found just sinking below the surface.

To know more facts about this species, refer to the detailed Sei whale information below. To know info about other species, refer to our blue whale and sperm whale articles.

Sei Whale Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a sei whale?

The Sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis) is one of the rorqual whales found in oceans and seas.

What class of animal does a sei whale belong to?

The Sei whales, whose scientific name is Balaenoptera borealis, belong to the mammal class.

How many sei whales are there in the world?

There are 80,000 Sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis) populations around the world, found mostly in more temperate areas.

Where does a sei whale live?

Most of the Sei whales are located in all the oceans. They prefer temperate areas and rarely polar waters. The Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans are all home to the Sei whale populations.

They can range from sub-arctic to sub-Antarctic. Also, in the Mediterranean and Baltic seas, we can locate these animals. In countries like Australia and the Bahamas we can also find Sei whales.

What is a sei whale's habitat?

The Sei whale habitat is all temperate, subpolar, and subtropical waters worldwide. They are commonly found in the Southern hemisphere. They are primarily found in the deep waters away from the coastline. They have unpredictable behavior, so don't stick to a particular location.

Sei whale adaptations include that in the summer season, they are located in sub-polar and temperate regions, and during winters, they turn their tail and move to sub-tropical waters.

Who do sei whales live with?

The group of whales is called pods/herd/school. This marine species lives alone or sometimes lives in small pods. The pods contain two to six members. It also forms larger groups when food is abundant. Sei whales live in groups to protect themselves.

How long does a sei whale live?

The Sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis) lives up to 65 long years under favorable marine conditions. But the Sei whale population is under threat because of pollution, climatical changes, whaling, entanglement in fishing gear, and ship strike.

Catching the fish by luring them with bait is called entanglement in fishing gear; because of this, the Sei whales sometimes get stuck into these nets resulting in injuries or death.

How do they reproduce?

Sei whales adopt a polygynous mating system of reproduction. The mating season of Sei whales differs from location to location. In the Northern hemisphere, they mate between November and February, whereas they mate between May and July in the southern hemisphere.

In subtropical seas, these whales mate in a temperate environment. These whales reach sexual maturity at around 10 years of age. The female gives birth to a single calf, maybe every two or three years.

They sometimes mate with Fin whales to produce a young calf. The gestation period of Sei whales is between 11-13 months. The mother whale takes care of young ones at least for nine months.

What is their conservation status?

The Sei whales' conservation status Endangered. This marine mammal is considered Endangered under Endangered Species Act. This species is also given depleted status under Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Sei Whale Fun Facts

What do sei whales look like?

The top part of Sei whales is dark bluish-gray to black in color, and the underside is white or cream-colored. They have some scars on their body and this is because of the bites of cookie-cutter sharks and lampreys. It has a single ridge that starts from the tip of the nose to the blowholes.

This feature helps to identify Sei whales easily. A curved dorsal fin (top fins) resembles a sickle with a pointed snout.

The pectoral fins (side fins) are very short and pointed. The dorsal fin occupies one-third of the Sei whale body length. The flukes (tail) are smaller in length when compared to the body of the Sei whales.

Sei whale populations are found in colder water during the summer season.

How cute are they?

Sei whales are fascinating creatures among the mammals, and watching them in water is a feast for the eyes. The Sei whales are considered cute because of the sweet sound they make.

How do they communicate?

Sei whales communicate in low-frequency sounds. Sei whale sounds are known as whooshes or growls.

As per some reports, one of the whale hunters reported that they are very sweet-natured animals and make lovely noises, but when you hit them, they make crying noises, which is very sad. As they are far from the surface, they communicate with other cetacean species includes whales, dolphins, and porpoises.

How big is a sei whale?

At sexual maturity, the male Sei whale length is 46 ft (14 m) weighing around 14 tons. Female Sei whales reach 49 ft (15 m) long and weigh around 17 tons. It is the third-largest whale. Sei whales resemble Bryde's whales. But the sei whale size is comparatively less than the Bryde whales (40,000 kg)

How fast can a sei whale move?

When a sei whale swims, its blowholes and the dorsal fin are visible above the water surface. They are the fastest swimmers who swim below the water surface and are the fastest among all the cetaceans (whales and dolphins). Their average speed is 31 mph (50 kph).

How much does a sei whale weigh?

The Sei whales are the third-largest whales. The weight of the bull is 14 tons (12700.6 kg), and the weight of the cow is 17 tons (15422.1 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

The male Sei whale is called a bull, and the females are called cows. It grows a maximum of up to 64 ft long. Generally, females are larger than males.

What would you call a baby sei whale?

The younger one is called a calf. The calf weighs about 1 ton (907 kg) by birth and is 15 ft (4.5 m) long.

What do they eat?

Sei whales are carnivores and exhibit unpredictable behavior while eating. Varieties of krill, fish, plankton, and copepods are part of the Sei whale diet. They prefer to eat at dawn.

They don't gulp their food at once. They don't have teeth, but the baleen plates help to filter the water and pick up its prey, such as the school of fish. They have almost 400 baleen plates, made up of hard material keratin.

Are they dangerous?

Sei whales are solitary and shy creatures that are not dangerous. They are amicable and friendly marine creatures.

Would they make a good pet?

According to the guidelines, the endangered species is not adopted as a pet. Because of the enormous structure, it is impossible to have them as pets. As they need 2000 lb of food every day, providing them a vast quantity of diet is not feasible.

Did you know...

Here are some great Sei whale facts for kids:

In June 2015, the Sei whale beached in a large population, remote waters of Patagonia, Chile. Almost 337 Sei whales are endangered. The cause of mass deaths is not known.

The IWC (International Whaling Commission) helps to conserve the Sei whales population. This commission regulates whale watching and whaling. It addresses the issues affecting the Sei whales' population.

Sei whales can be recognized by their blow which is about 10-13 ft high.

During 19-20th centuries, the whaling of these large whales for meat and oil was mainly carried out, which resulted in the death of 30,000 Sei whales. Though commercial whaling gives good profits, it results in the depletion of these valuable creatures. Apart from whaling, they are essential for the marine environment.

Why is it rare to see a sei whale in Southern California?

A naturalist named Kristin Campbell and Alex Shaw discovered this species of Sei whales which is very rare on the Southern California coast. They were hanging out with a group of dolphins.

Sei whales are rare to see in Southern California because they are difficult to differentiate from Fin whales. One more reason may be the surveys conducted by NMFS have confirmed only a single sighting of this species in six years, as they are primarily found in deep water, avoiding coastal waters.

So it is rare to sight Sei whales species on Southern California beach.

How to pronounce sei whale

The word Sei is pronounced as 'say.' Sei in the name Sei whale is derived from the Norwegian word 'seje' or Pollack. Seje is a fish, and the Sei whales arrive on the Norway coast at the same time as this fish.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including the minke whale, or bowhead whale.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our sei whale coloring pages.

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

See All

Written by Martha Martins

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha Martins picture

Martha MartinsBachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha is a full-time creative writer, content strategist, and aspiring screenwriter who communicates complex thoughts and ideas effectively. She has completed her Bachelor's in Linguistics from Nasarawa State University. As an enthusiast of public relations and communication, Martha is well-prepared to substantially impact your organization as your next content writer and strategist. Her dedication to her craft and commitment to delivering high-quality work enables her to create compelling content that resonates with audiences.

Read full bio >
Fact-checked by Tehil David

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature, Master of Arts specializing in Philosophy and Religious Studies

Tehil David picture

Tehil DavidBachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature, Master of Arts specializing in Philosophy and Religious Studies

Tehil David Singh is a fact checker with a Bachelor's degree in English literature from St.Xavier's College, Palayamkottai, and a Master's degree in Philosophy, and Religion from Madurai Kamaraj University. He has a passion for writing and hopes to become a story writer in the future. Tehil has previously interned in content writing and has been a content creator for the last three years. In his personal life, he enjoys singing, songwriting, performing, and writing stories.

Read full bio >