Interesting Information on Blue Whale

The Blue whale is the largest animal to have ever lived on earth, even bigger than any dinosaur, and they can live up to 80 years or more.

Blue whales do not have teeth. Hanging down from the upper jaw are Baleen plates which look like the frayed bristles of a giant hairbrush and are used to sieve food from seawater.

When a blue whale eats, the pleats or grooves on its throat and belly expand to allow it to gulp huge watery mouthfuls of tiny, shrimp like crustaceans called Krill. Water is then forced out between the baleen plates and the food caught on the hairy fringes is then swallowed.

Due to their large size and speed, blue whales were not hunted by early whalers but were the first species to be taken by the modern whaling industry especially in the 1930's. They were then over-exploited and the population drastically reduced to near extinction. Figures suggest that today there are less than 500 in the Southern hemisphere and approximately 4,000 worldwide, out of an original population of over 200,000. Because they are an endangered species blue whales became protected in the 1960s.

The only other known predator of the blue whale is the Killer (Orca) whale. Even though the killer whale is much smaller, this does not stop organized packs or pods of them from harassing and attacking blue whales.

Blue whales are found in all oceans of the world. Being an open ocean species they are not seen near the coast but mainly in the deeper waters off the continental shelves and ice edges.


Measuring up to 30 meters long (one was recorded at 33 meters) and weighing between 100 - 200 tones, their tongue can weigh as much as an elephant and the heart is the size of a small car. The body is long and streamlined and the straight blow can reach a height of 9 meters.
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