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Blue Whale image
Blue Whale

Blue Whale

(Mammal)

Blue Whale Baby
Blue Whale Baby

Blue Whale Habits

Like other marine mammals, blue whales are descended from early land animals. Millions of years ago, the richness of life in the sea lured them to water, and aquatic live gradually changed their physical characteristics.
Today, they spend most of their time in the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans, where plankton is plentiful. In winter, the whales migrate to the warm waters of the tropics. But food in the tropics is scarce, so the whales depend on their thick layer of blubber for nourishment.
Because of its great size, the blue whale was a prime target for the whaling industry. Its body was a source of oil and the baleen was used to make women's corsets.
Antarctic whalers slaughtered 30,000 blue whales from 1930 to 1931. The population has since recovered, but there are probably less than 10,000 alive today; they are now protected.

Blue Whale Communication

Due to their solitary lifestyles, Blue Whales have evolved an exceptional way of speaking to one another across huge distances. As you would expect from the largest animal on the planet, Blue Whales have exceptionally deep voices and are able to be vocal at frequencies as low as 14 Hz - well below the ability of human hearing - with a volume greater than 180 decibels, which makes the Blue Whale the loudest animal on the planet.
The sounds they make that humans can hear are characterised by low grunts, humming, moans and clicks. The deep vibrations and sounds created by a Blue Whale can travel thousands of miles across the sea and may have evolved to take advantage of the ocean's sound channel.

Blue Whale Breeding

Blue whales from close ties with one another and are often seen in groups of two or four. Mating takes place in the warm waters of the tropics, where the young are born. The mother gives birth to a single calf with the aid of other females, who help her deliver the calf and then nudge the newborn to the surface for its first breath of air.
At birth, the calf measures about 23 feet and weight 16,000 pounds. The baby is suckled in the water, drinking more than 160 gallons of milk a day. At 7 months, it is able to catch its own food.

Blue Whale Food & Feeding

In the Antarctic, blue whales feed on vast quantities of a plankton called krill. In Arctic waters, they feed on only three species of crustacean (shelled) plankton. Icy water contains more oxygen and carbon dioxide than warm water, which makes it rich in marine life. Plankton is up to twenty times more abundant in the Arctic and Antarctic than it is in the warm waters of the tropics.
In spite of its bulk, the blue whale can reach speeds of 10-15 knots. But it catches most of its food by diving. It can dive to depths or 1650 feet and lie submerged for up to 2 hours. Rising from the depths, the whale feeds by collecting a large amount of seawater in its mouth and then straining out the plankton.

Blue Whale Key Facts

        Size 
              Height: Males average 82 feet. Females, 85 feet long
              Weight: 175,000-285,000 pounds
       Breeding
             Sexual maturity: Males at a length of 74 feet. Females at 75 feet
             Mating: Most females only breed once every 3 years
             Gestation: 11-12 months
             Number of young: Single Calf
       Lifestyle 
            Habit: Social and migratory
            Diet: Plankton
            Lifespan: 80 years

 

DID YOU KNOW?

  • The biggest male ever recorded was 102 feet long. The heaviest was 390,000 pounds.
  • Blue whales were once called sulphur-bottom whales because their bodies were covered with algae that resembled sulphur.
  • The blue whale's heart is about the size of a small car beats about 5-6 times per minute on the surface and drops to 3 beats per minute when it dives to control its metabolism.
  • The blue whale is the loudest animal on earth. The peak dB of rock music is measured at 150 dBs and the blue whale is measured at 188dBs.
  • The blue whale's blood vessels are so large that a full grown trout could swim through them to its heart.

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