Blue Whale Interesting Facts
What type of animal is a blue whale?
Blue whales are a type of baleen whales. They are the largest living creatures to have ever existed on earth. Whales are marine mammals that have evolved from land animals such as Pakicetus, much smaller in size.
What class of animal does a blue whale belong to?
A blue whale belongs to the class of mammals and the family Balaenopteridae.
How many blue whales are there in the world?
Even though commercial whaling is no longer a threat, the whale populations have reduced considerably due to collision with ships and climate change. At present, there are only about 10000-25000 individuals of this species left.
Where does a blue whale live?
The blue whale lives in almost all seas and oceans on our planet. However, the populations of blue whales in the southern hemisphere are much larger. Blue whales live in California up to the Gulf of Alaska and the Aleutian Islands in the North Pacific Ocean. The wintering grounds of blue whales are off the coast of Southern California, Baja California, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea. Blue whales are found in Madagascar, Angola in Africa, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru in South America in the southern hemisphere.
What is a blue whale's habitat?
The blue whale habitat is continental shelves and ice fronts, but there have been reports of blue whale sightings in the deep ocean and shallow inshore regions. Blue whales often undergo migrations from place to place. The winters are spent in temperate and subtropical regions, and they migrate to the polar waters in the spring and summer seasons. Blue whales migrate throughout Antarctica in the southern hemisphere. They can dive to 500 m deep, but they feed in depths of less than 100 m in the ocean.
Who do blue whales live with?
Blue whales, the largest animal present on our planet, tend to travel alone. Rarely are they seen to form pods. A blue whale may pair with one other blue whale in search of food. More blue whales gather where there are higher concentrations of food.
How long does a blue whale live?
Whales are marine mammals on the earth that live for many years. They generally have a long lifespan unless their lives are cut short because of human interference. The blue whale lifespan ranges between 80-90 years. The oldest known blue whale was 110 years old.
How do they reproduce?
Blue whales attain sexual maturity when they are 5-10 years old. For reproduction, they migrate to the equator in warmer waters. The mating ritual is quite elaborate, where the male and the female blue whale roll around each other and then dive deep into the ocean abyss while communicating with each other.
Reproduction takes place through sexual meiosis. A diploid zygote is formed by the fertilization of a single sperm and egg.
Since blue whales are placental mammals, the fetus develops in the uterus of the female. There is the quick growth of the fetus at a rate of one inch per day. After a prolonged 12 month pregnancy, the female gives birth to a calf that weighs about 6000 lb (2700 kg). Birth usually takes place in winter and early spring or summer in warm equatorial waters.
What is their conservation status?
The International Whaling Commission, established in 1946, banned the hunting of whales for commercial purposes back in 1966. They are now protected. The recovery rate of the blue whale population is about 7% per year. They are listed in the category Endangered on the IUCN Red List.
Blue Whale Fun Facts
What do blue whales look like?
These marine animals are blue-gray in color. There are pale spots on their bellies due to algae accumulations. Blue whales have broad, flat, U-shaped heads. There are 270-400 baleen plates on each side of the mouths of blue whales. These are the specific blue whale teeth. There are a tiny, stubby dorsal fin and 20 ft wide triangular flukes over the body. Blue whale's gills are absent, and they have lungs instead of gills for respiration.
How cute are they?
Baby blue whale calves may seem cute to some people. These large marine mammals are more fascinating than cute.
How do they communicate?
The song of a blue whale can cover huge distances. It can communicate with another one of the same species that may swim hundreds of miles away. Large wild animals such as whales make deep rumbling sounds to communicate. They make very deep low pitched sounds as high as 188 decibels. It is by far the loudest sound recorded from a wild animal. This sound is heard from places as far as 500 mi by another blue whale that can tune in to that frequency.
How big is a blue whale?
The blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) is the biggest animal to have ever existed on our planet, even bigger than a T-Rex. The length of a blue whale ranges between 80-100 ft, and they weigh 200000-300000 lb (90,000-136,000kg). A blue whale is generally the same size as two school buses. School buses generally have seats for 40 children. So if a blue whale is compared to a human, 80 people can stay on a blue whale. Blue whale size comparison reveals that the blue whale weight is equivalent to 14-21 adult African elephants. The biggest blue whale to be ever recorded was a female measured at a South Georgia whaling station in 1909.
How fast can a blue whale move?
The maximum speed of a blue whale can be 30 mph over short bursts when they interact with others of the same species and when they are chased. Typically, they swim at a speed of 12 mph.
How much does a blue whale weigh?
The blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) is the heaviest animal on this planet. The weight of a female blue whale can be about 420000 lb (190000 kg), and that of a male blue whale is 330000 lb (150000 kg). Female blue whales are larger than males as they need to nurse the young. The blue whale heart size is about 990 lb (450 kg), almost the size of a taxi. A blue whale tongue can weigh the same as an elephant. The heaviest and the largest blue whale was 418,878 lb.
What are their male and female names of the species?
The male and female blue whales are named the same as other whales. The male whale is called a bull, and the female whale is called a cow.
What would you call a baby blue whale?
A baby blue whale is called a calf. Blue whale calves are about 23 ft long and weigh about 6000-8000 lb ( 2700-3600 kg).
What do they eat?
Although blue whales are huge, they feed on relatively small krill. The blue whale diet includes krill, tiny shrimp-like creatures only 1-2 cm in length. Blue whales suck in great bellyfuls of water, strain the water back out through their baleen, and the krill get trapped as the water is expelled. A hungry blue whale can consume 3.6 metric tons of krill in one day.
Are they dangerous?
One of the interesting facts about the blue whale is that though they are gigantic, they do not attack humans. Sometimes accidental collisions have damaged ships, though.
Would they make a good pet?
Blue whales may appear cute and cuddly when they are baby calves, but adult blue whales can grow enormous, not containable in even the biggest aquariums, and require huge amounts of feeding. They require about 8000 lb (3600 kg) krill feeding every day for their survival. So, no, they are not good pets.
Did you know...
If we compare the megalodon vs blue whale, blue whales are larger even.
Is the blue whale endangered?
Blue whales were abundant in all the oceans except the Arctic till the beginning of the 20th century. A worldwide commercial whaling industry developed rapidly in the early 20th century due to advancements in technology. The fast whaling ships caught even the quickest blue whales, and more than 340,000 blue whales were slaughtered mercilessly for oil during that period. Fishing gear such as mechanized harpoons helped to hunt down even the fastest ones. The blue whale populations have dwindled after that. Although commercial whaling has been banned and the population has increased, whale hunting still continues for science research purposes. The species is categorized as Endangered species on the IUCN Red List.
How long can a blue whale hold its breath?
The blue whale is known to hold its breath for almost 90 minutes. Myoglobin, a protein present in a huge amount in the muscles of blue whales, helps to hold their breath for such a prolonged time before resurfacing.
You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our blue whale coloring pages.