The blue whale is the largest animal ever known on the planet. Here's what you need to know about the majestic marine mammal.
Imagine in your mind a 10-story tall animal walking down the street and you probably start channeling images of Godzilla or King Kong. But if you imagine it as a marine mammal and put it on its side, swimming ... now you have a blue whale.
Balaenoptera musculus, the blue whale, is the largest animal ever known on the planet, bigger than the dinosaurs and monsters in the movies aside. Even at birth it is one of the largest animals in the world! The planet is covered with amazing and fascinating creatures, but the blue whale is among the most superlative. Consider the following.
1.How big is a blue whale?
They are gigantic. Generally 80 to 100 feet (24 to 30 meters) long, the longest ever recorded was 108 feet long.
2.How much does a blue whale weigh?
These gentle giants weigh up to 200 tons, or about 441,000 pounds.
3 they have big hearts
The heart of the blue whale is huge! It is approximately 5 feet long, 4 feet wide, and 5 feet high and weighs about 400 pounds; its rhythm can be detected from two miles away.
4.… and languages
The tongue of a blue whale alone weighs as much as an elephant.
5.How big are blue whale babies?
Blue whale calves are the largest babies on Earth, and at birth they are already among the largest adult animals. They appear around 4,000 kg with a length of about 8 meters. They gain 90 kg per day! Their growth rate is likely one of the fastest in the animal world, with an increase of several billion tissues in the 18 months from conception to weaning.
6.They're noisy… and make free long distance calls
Blue whales, in fact, are the loudest animals on the planet. A jet engine registers at 140 decibels, a blue whale's call reaches 188. Its language of pulses, groans and moans can be heard by others up to 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) away.
7. What do blue whales eat?
Blue whales feast on krill; their stomachs can hold 1,000 kg of the small crustaceans at a time. They require almost 4,000 Kg of the little ones a day; and about 40 million krill daily during the summer feeding season.
8. Are blue whales fast?
They travel a lot, spend summers feeding in polar regions, and make the long journey to the equator when winter comes. Although they have a cruising speed of 8 km / h, they can accelerate up to 32 km / h when necessary.
9 they have long lives
Although not as old as the oldest trees on Earth, blue whales are among the longest-lived animals on the planet. Like counting tree rings, scientists count layers of wax in the ears and can determine the age of the stadium. The oldest ones discovered in this way are estimated to be around 100 years old, although the average lifespan is believed to be around 80 to 90 years.
10 they were once numerous
Before whalers discovered the treasure of oil that a blue whale could provide, the numbers were generous. But with the advent of the 20th century whaling fleets, almost all of them were killed before they received global protection in 1967. According to WWF, from 1904 to 1967, more than 350,000 were killed in the southern hemisphere. In 1931, during the height of whaling, 29,000 blue whales were killed in a single season.
11 their future is unclear
While commercial whaling is no longer a threat, the recovery has been slow and new threats affect blue whales, such as ship attacks and the impact of climate change. There is a population of around 2,000 blue whales off the California coast, but in total there are only 10,000 to 25,000 individuals left. The Red List of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) classifies them as “Endangered”. Hopefully in time, the most gigantic gentle giants on the planet will once again roam the seas.