TWO whales, thought to be of the rorqual whale family, have been sighted this Monday afternoon from a boat off Los Alamos beach in Torremolinos.

The animals were seen cruising along the coast at a constant pace, keeping most of their bodies submerged under the water as they swam.

Experts from the Aula del Mar have said that though they have received no official notification on this recent sighting, it is quite common to see this kind of animal crossing between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean through the Strait of Gibraltar.

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Rorqual whales are the largest group of baleen whales, and include the Fin Whale which is the most sighted baleen whale in the Strait of Gibraltar.

After the Blue Whale, also part of the baleen whale family, it is the second largest animal in the world and can reach a length of 22 metres and a weight of 80 tons.

The Blue Whale can reach 180 tonnes.

As a quick swimmer, the Fin Whale can cross the Strait of Gibraltar in about an hour.

About 90 Fin Whales migrate through the Strait of Gibraltar every year, but rarely more than 20 animals are sighted per season.

In summer, most of them swim from the Mediterranean towards the Atlantic. Only very few swim into the Mediterranean during this time.

Rorqual whales have long, sleek bodies, a median notch, and a small dorsal fin.

The whales in this family have longitudinal skin folds running from below the mouth to the navel, allowing the capacity of the mouth to expand greatly when feeding.

The smallest whale of the group is the Northern Minke Whale, reaching nine tonnes.

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