The Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus)
The Blue Whale is one of the most popular whales because they are the largest mammal currently on Earth. Everything from their teeth to their weight is amazing, which has pulled scientists from all over the world to study this massive beast.
Physical Description and Behavior
They have very long and slender bodies. Their skin is a bluish-gray, although they appear to be bluer when underwater. One of the most striking features it has is its teeth or baleen plates. These are used for filter feeding, only allowing small animals like krill to pass while larger fish can get free. These plates make it easier for the whale to catch their food.
The Blue Whale can be up to 98 feet long and weigh upwards of 190 tons. Female blue whales are larger and heavier than males, due to needing to birth and nurture their young. Their age is a bit of a mystery, but the best data we have shows that they can live at least 73 years. This is due to information obtained from earplugs, or earwax build-up, which shows the fasting and eating cycles of these whales.
Whales also tend to travel slowly, only swimming about 7 miles per hour on average. Even with this slow speed, they have been able to migrate all over the world.
Habitat and Location
These whales are found all over the world, in all oceans except for the artic.
The Blue Whale is considered to be endangered according to the IUCN Red List. This is due to climate change and illegal whaling practices. While it seems to have gotten better in recent years, with the Blue Whale population increasing, it is still important to keep an eye on this vital ecological species.
Find out more information about the Blue Whale by checking out the video below: