The Blue Whale is one of the world's largest and "strongest" vertebrate mammals. It has been known to weigh as much as 115,000 pounds (53,000 kg), making it more than twice as heavy as this estimate. The average weight of a Blue Whale is about 10,000 pounds (4,500 kg).
They can reach up to 65 feet (20 m) long and have a barrel-shaped body typical of whale species. They live in warm oceans all over the world, from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean, south of Africa. No other animal comes close to creating such huge waves simply by swimming.
Blue Whales feed on krill, small shrimp-like creatures that are abundant in polar waters. They filter water to catch prey using their large tongue and throat cavity.
Female Blue Whales travel farther than males to find food. They eat less but experience fewer hunger pangs than males who hunt together. When females do not find enough food, they may stay away for months at a time rather than risk being stranded alone with no chance of survival.
Blue Whales are endangered because of ship strikes and illegal fishing operations.
Blue Whale Number One—Blue Whale The blue whale is at the top of the list! The blue whale is not only the largest mammal that lives on Earth now, but it is also the largest animal that has ever existed on Earth. A blue whale may reach 100 feet in length and weigh up to 200 tons.
The blue whale was first discovered in 1619 by Europeans. They named it "bluewheel" because they thought it was a wheel coming off a cart! They believed it was used for grinding corn.
In fact, the blue whale's true name is "musculus bluewheli". It means "blue mussel tooth". The name comes from the appearance of the mouthful of teeth. The blue whale uses its tongue to catch prey that is smaller than itself. Then, using its huge mouth full of razor-sharp teeth, it slices open the prey, consuming it piece by piece.
Its range is all over the world, including the eastern Pacific Ocean, southern Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, and western Pacific Ocean. However, due to extensive hunting, it now exists only in small groups in these areas. There are about 5,000 blue whales worldwide. That's about 1 percent of what there used to be.
They live in groups called "pods" that usually contain 15 individuals or more. Each pod is related to each other. This means that their kids can be friends or siblings.
The Blue Whale It has a bigger body and weights considerably more than any other animal, measuring up to 100 feet long and weighing 200 tons. The blue whale is a carnivorous animal that feeds on krill, which are small shrimp-like organisms. Even at birth, a newborn blue whale is the biggest meat-eating animal on the planet. Its diet consists of about 20% fat, which gives it energy for growth and reproduction.
The blue whale's tongue weighs almost as much as it does. This enormous organ is made up of hundreds of muscles that can move it around in order to catch different kinds of food. Each day, a blue whale consumes about 20 tons of water and eats about 2000 kilos of fish and crustaceans. It also swallows air when feeding so it can stay submerged for longer periods of time.
The blue whale's large brain helps it find food and communicate with others of its species. It is estimated to be about 1/7th of the total weight of the blue whale. Scientists have found their brains contain about 25,000 neurons each!
Blue whales were originally named "baleen whales" because they had plates inside their mouths called baleens that helped them filter food from the water. These days, though, we know them as sirens because they use sound to locate their prey, just like the creatures in Homer's poems.