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A Blue Whale

The Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus) is the biggest mammal ever to live on earth.It is part of the (mysticeti) baleen whale suborder[1]. They can weigh up to 200 tons[2]. Blue whales are among the loudest animals on the planet[3]. It inhabits all but polar seas and is rarely seen near the coasts[4]

DietEdit

Blue Whales feed in bulk by intermittently engulfing large volumes of water that contain dense aggregations of plankton or nekton. This lunge feeding behavior occurs anywhere prey is particularly dense and abundant, from the sea surface to more than 500 m in depth[5].

SizeEdit

Blue whales grow to be about 80 feet (25 m) long on average, weighing about 120 tons (109 tonnes). The largest specimen found was a female 94 feet (29 m) long weighing more 174 tons (158 tonnes). The females are larger than males, as with all baleen whales. The largest of the blue whales (150 tons) has a heart that weighs about 1,000 pounds (450 kg) and has 14,000 pounds (6,400 kg) of blood circulating in its body. The heart is about the size of a car. A human could crawl through the aorta (a major blood vessel)[6]

PopulationEdit

Pre-whaling population estimates were over 350,000 blue whales, but up to 99% of blue whales were killed during whaling efforts[7].

Currently there are approximately, there are 1,500 to 2,500 Blue Whales in the Southern Hemisphere, and approximately 2,000 to 3,000 Blue Whales in the North Pacific.[8]. The least Blue Whale count is present in the North Atlantic ranging from approximately 400 to 600 Blue Whales[9]

ReferencesEdit

  1. http://www.whalefacts.org/blue-whale-facts/ Facts
  2. http://animals.nationalgeographic.co.in/animals/mammals/blue-whale/ Blue Whales
  3. http://animals.nationalgeographic.co.in/animals/mammals/blue-whale/ Blue Whales
  4. http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/whales/species/Bluewhale.shtml Enchanted Learning- Blue Whales
  5. http://jeb.biologists.org/content/214/1/131.full
  6. http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/whales/species/Bluewhale.shtml Enchanted Living- Whales
  7. http://majictwins.tripod.com/whalefacts.html
  8. http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/cetaceans/bluewhale.htm Blue whale Info
  9. http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/cetaceans/bluewhale.htm Blue Whale Info

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