The Antarctic minke whale (Balaenoptera bonaerensis) is one of the smallest and most abundant of the rorqual whales, the largest group of baleen whales. This sleekly-shaped species has a distinctly pointed head and a sickle-shaped dorsal fin located two-thirds of the way down the body. The upperparts of the Antarctic minke whale are dark grey and its underbelly is white, with pale streaks on the side and pale flippers. Up until the 1990s only one species of minke whale was recognised, the common minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata). However, the Antarctic minke whale is now considered to be a separate species, and can be distinguished from the common minke whale by its slightly larger size and the absence of a distinct white patch on the flipper.
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