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Blue Whale

Blue Whale

The blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) is a marine mammal belonging to the suborder of baleen whales (called Mysticeti). At 30 metres (98 ft) in length and 180 metric tons (200 short tons) or more in weight, it is the largest known animal to have ever existed.

 

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Kabir Malkani

Kabir Malkani

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The blue whale is currently one of the world's most endangered whales. It was not hunted until somewhat modern techniques made them more easily attainable, but by the mid-1900's only about 1,000 were estimated to remain. Hunting ceased in 1967 and stocks in the Southern Hemisphere and North Pacific are currently recovering. The latest estimate revealed 15,000 blue whales remaining worldwide.

Article: Blue Whale Fact Sheet
Source: NYS Dept. of Environmenta...

with the arrival of harpoon cannons, they became a much sought after species for their large amounts of blubber. The killing reached a peak in 1931 when 29,649 blue whales were taken. By 1966, blues were so scarce that the International Whaling Commission declared them protected throughout the world.

Article: Blue Whale
Source: The Marine Mammal Center ...

With the melting of the ice caps the fresh water that is running off into the ocean means that the whales have to stay away from this land mass otherwise they will drown in themselves in the freshwater which they cannot breath.

Article: Where do Blue Whales live...
Source: Where do Blue Whales live...

Blue whales are found in open oceans from the icy waters of the extreme Southern Hemisphere to the Aleutian Islands off Alaska at the northern boundary of the Pacific Ocean. Summers are spent in polar waters because food production is higher there.

Article: Blue Whale Fact Sheet
Source: NYS Dept. of Environmenta...

You won’t find Blue Whales in groups very often. They tend to be the loners of the world of whales. Sometimes you will see a pair of them but not more than that. Most of the time that will be a mother and her baby.

Article: Blue Whale
Source: Blue Whale

The blue whale ranks among the fastest of the whales, with feeding speeds of 2 - 6.5 km/h (1.2 - 4 mi/h) and cruising speeds of 5 - 33 km/h (3 - 20 mi/h). When chased, it can reach speeds as high as 48 km/h (30 mi/h).

Article: Animal Info - Endanger...
Source: Animal Info

The Blue Whale has an enormously long body that is slim and narrow, which means that they are able to cut through the water with ease. Their hairless skin is smooth and greyish blue in colour with a lighter underside and a series of pleats on their throats which allows it to expand to more than four times it's normal size when the Blue Whale is feeding.

Article: Blue Whale
Source: Blue Whale (Balsenoptera ...

It is also the loudest animal on Earth. These enormous mammals eat tiny organisms, like plankton and krill, which they sieve through baleen.

Article: BLUE WHALE - EnchantedLea...
Source: EnchantedLearning.com

Their tongues alone can weigh as much as an elephant. Their hearts, as much as an automobile.

Article: Blue Whale
Source: National Geographic

A single calf is produced every two to three years, and from birth each calf consumes up to 50 gallons of milk every single day, leading to a colossal weight gain of 90 kilograms per day in its first year of life.

Article: Blue whale
Source: BBC Nature

Measuring 70 to 80 feet in length (the longest recorded length was 106 feet), blue whales can weigh as much as 90 to 150 tons, although females are larger than the males.

Article: Blue Whale
Source: Blue Whale | National Par...

Blue whales are among Earth's longest-lived animals. Scientists have discovered that by counting the layers of a deceased whale's waxlike earplugs, they can get a close estimate of the animal's age. The oldest blue whale found using this method was determined to be around 110 years old.

Article: Blue Whale
Source: National Geographic
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