Blue whales are large mammals that live in the ocean. They are the largest animal on Earth, and they are very interesting creatures. Blue whales are very big animals. They can grow to be up to 100 feet long and weigh up to 150 tons. That’s as much as 30 elephants! Blue whales are also very fast swimmers. They can swim up to 30 miles per hour. But they usually only swim about 5 miles per hour.
Blue whales eat a lot of food. They can eat up to 40 million krill (a type of tiny shrimp) in one day! That’s about 12,000 pounds of food! Blue whales migrate (travel) long distances every year. They travel from cold water near the poles to warm water near the equator.
Then they travel back again. Scientists believe that blue whales live for about 80-90 years. Blue whales are very interesting animals. They are the largest animal on Earth and they eat a lot of food. They are also very fast swimmers. If you ever see a blue whale, you will definitely be impressed!
The Blue whale is the world’s largest mammal, with a length of up to 30 meters and a weight of more than 25 tons. Despite popular belief, Blue whales are mammals and breathe air. They give live birth to their young and can live for 30 to 70 years depending on where they reside. The Blue whale belongs to the baleen family, which means it lacks teeth instead of having around 300-400 baleen plates in its mouth as many people believe. Rorquals are the biggest members of the baleen family.
Blue whales can be found in all of the world’s oceans, but they tend to stick to areas where there is an abundance of krill. Krill are tiny shrimp-like creatures that are a main food source for the Blue whale. When feeding, a Blue whale will swim with its mouth open, scooping up large amounts of water and krill. The baleen plates then filter out the water and the whale is left with a large mouthful of krill to eat.
Blue whales are not easy to spot due to their enormous size and because they spend most of their time underwater. The best way to see a Blue whale is from a boat or ship as they often come up to the surface to breathe. Even though they are so big, they are very shy creatures and will often swim away quickly when they see a boat.
Despite their size, Blue whales are very gentle giants. They pose no threat to humans and in fact, have never been known to attack anyone. However, they are still wild animals and should be treated with caution and respect.
Blue whales are an amazing animal and it is truly a privilege to be able to see one in the wild. Hopefully, with continued conservation efforts, we can ensure that these gentle giants continue to thrive for many years to come.
The scientific name of the Blue whale is Balaenoptera musculus. Suborder Mysticeti, baleen whale, rorqual, calf, sulfur bottom Sibbalds Rorqual Great Northern Rorqual gulpers blowholes blubber oil keratin krill copepods plankton orcas Endangered Whales are divided into two categories: baleen and toothed whales.
The blue whale is a baleen whale. There are three types of blue whales, the Balaenoptera musculus, the Balaenoptera intermedia and the Balaenoptera brevicauds. The Blue whale is the largest animal in existence today and probably always has been (Würsig, 1999).
It is thought that they could grow as long as 110 feet (33.5 meters), although most are between 80-90 feet (24-27 meters), with exceptional specimens reaching 100 feet (30.5 meters) (Nowak, 1991). Females are generally larger than males (Rice, 1998).
Calves are born 20-26 feet long(6-8 meters) and gain about 8 inches (0.2 meters) in length each day during their first year (Nowak, 1991). The average weight of a Blue whale is 150-180 tons but they can weigh as much as 220 tons (Nowak, 1999). They have two blowholes that are V-shaped and about 3 feet long(0.9 meters). Each hole is surrounded by a large crescent-shaped muscular flap.
When the animal surfaces to breathe, water is forced out through these flaps and the animal blows a steamy spray that may rise as high as 20 feet into the air(6 meters) (Würsig, 1999). Their skin is usually blue-gray with mottled white patches. Underneath the skin is a layer of blubber that is 2-4 feet (0.6-1.2 meters) thick. This layer insulates the animal from the cold water and provides energy when food is scarce (Nowak, 1991).
The Blue whale has about 300-400 baleen plates on each side of its mouth. These plates are made of keratin, which is also found in human hair and fingernails, and are fringed with coarse hairs (Würsig, 1999). The plates hang down from the upper jaw like a curtain and range in color from yellowish white to dark gray (Nowak, 1991).
Blue whales use these plates to filter their food from the water. They swim with their mouths open while taking in as much as 100 tons of water and then push the water out through the baleen plates, trapping their food in the bristles (Würsig, 1999). Blue whales mainly eat krill, which are tiny shrimp-like creatures. They can consume up to 40 million krill a day (Nowak, 1991).
Krill live in large swarms near the ocean surface and are often concentrated where cold water meets warm water (such as at the edge of a continental shelf or around an underwater volcano) (Würsig, 1999). The Blue whale is one of several types of whale that are called “rorquals”. Rorquals are characterized by having long pleats running from their chin to their navel on their throat and underbelly.
These pleats allow the animal to expand its mouth to a very large size, like a balloon, when feeding (Nowak, 1991). The Blue whale is sometimes called the sulfur bottom whale because of the yellowish color of its underside (Würsig, 1999). Another name for the Blue whale is the “Great Northern Rorqual” because it is found in all oceans of the world, including the Arctic and Antarctic (Nowak, 1991).
Blue whales are often seen alone or in pairs, but they can form groups of up to 20 animals (Würsig, 1999). They communicate with each other using a series of moans, clicks and whistles that can travel through water for miles (Nowak, 1991). Scientists believe that each blue whale has its own unique whistle that it uses to identify itself to other members of its species (Würsig, 1999).
Blue whales are migratory animals and travel long distances between their feeding grounds in the polar regions and their breeding grounds in warm, tropical waters (Nowak, 1991). They typically travel at a speed of 5-15 miles per hour (8-24 kilometers per hour), but can reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour (48 kilometers per hour) when they are startled or excited (Würsig, 1999). Blue whales are generally found in deep ocean waters, although they have been known to swim into coastal areas.