List of baleen whales

Humpback whale's mouth featuring baleen

I received a website request for the names of five baleen whales, most likely for a school project. Then I realized, I’ve probably never listed all the baleen whales!

Then I started flipping through all my whale books and wouldn’t you know it, every list is slightly different. So I decided to stick with the list in the marine mammal bible, the Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals.

So here it is, the list of baleen whales (this list does not include all sub-species and distinct populations):

Bowhead whale
Northern right whale
Southern right whale
Pygmy right whale
Gray whale
Humpback whale
Common minke
Dwarf minke
Antarctic minke
Bryde’s whale
Omura’s whale
Sei whale
Fin whale
Blue whale
Antarctic blue whale
Pygmy blue whale


  1. bob says

    great thank you for the list,i am at school and this was very good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Carolyn Kraft says

      Hi Daniel, Great question! All the species I’ve listed are still around thankfully, although there were some very close calls.

      However, there are many distinct populations of baleen whales that live in certain areas and there used to be a population of gray whales that lived in the Atlantic Ocean. Unfortunately, this group of gray whales is now extinct. Scientists estimate that the Atlantic gray whales went extinct around the year 1700, most likely from whaling. But the gray whales in the Pacific Ocean are still here and the population that swims by California is doing well.

      So the short answer is: The Atlantic gray whale is extinct.

  2. Jim Mounce says

    October 7, 2013 at 9:06 pm
    Thank you for the list, Carolyn. I am far beyond school age and I’m writing a novelette about critters of the aquarium and the tide pools; also a little about the creatures that hang out around and beyond the continental shelf. It started as a small collection of short stories for the younger kids in the family, but it seems to be growing. I’m delighted to have found your website.

    Thanks again,

    • Carolyn Kraft says

      Hi Jim, I’m so glad you found my website helpful! The stories you are writing sound really cool. If you end up publishing them, please let me know I would love to check them out.

      Happy writing to you!

  3. Niza says

    I am homeschooled and am using Easy Peasy curriculem ( and I am really bad at spelling) and doing a whale lapbook in 4th grade. This helps a lot!


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