GENERAL DESCRIPTION

The largest animal that has ever lived on earth is the blue whale. Not
only is this creature the largest, it is also the loudest. Blue whales
only eat small organisms, such as plankton and krill. They are found
living in small groups, or more commonly known as pods. They have 2 blow
holes and have 5-30cm thick layer of blubber.


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SIZE
The blue whale can grow up to 25m long on average. They weigh 109 tonnes.

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The largest blue whale found was a female. It was 27m long and weighed
more then 158 tonnes. The females are always larger then the males are.

The largest of the blue whales has a heart that weighs around 450 kg and
has 6,400 kg of blood going around its body. Blue whales have a heart the
size of a Volkswagon beetle. And a its main blood vessel is big enough to
crawl through.


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LOUDNESS
The loudest animal on earth is also the blue whale! When they make a
sound, it can reach up to 188 decibels. They make a low-frequency whistle
that can be heard from hundreds of miles away. The blue whales call is
even louder then a jet (140 decibels). Human shouting is 70 decibels.

Sounds over 120 decibels hurt the human ear.


SKIN, SHAPE AND FINS
Blue whale’s normally have a blue-gray skin with gray spots. Their
underbelly is brown, yellow and has gray specks. In winter, small diatoms
stick to their underbelly, giving it a yellow to silver sulfur colored
sheen. They are also known as “sulfur bottom.”
Blue whales have very small, sickle shaped dorsal fins that are near the
tail. Their thin flippers are around 2.4m long and the tail can be up to
7.6m wide.


DIET AND BALEEN
The blue whales are all seasonal feeders and carnivores. They filter feed
all kinds of tiny crustaceans such as plankton and small fish. They go
into dense groups of small sea organisms with open mouths and scoop out
what they can. Blue whales have about 320 pairs of black baleen plates
with dark bristles in the blue whale’s jaw. Each one is about 1m long, 53
cm wide and weigh up to 90kg. The tongue of the blue whale weighs 3.8
tonnes.


The average sized blue whale will consume 900-4,100 kg of plankton every
day.

SOCIAL GROUPS
The blue whale can live individually or is more commonly known to swim in
very small pods or in pairs.

DIVING
They can stay underwater for a full hour without coming up for air, they
can reach a depth of 105m.

SPOUTING – BREATHING
Blue whales are not fish, they breathe air like all mammals do. They
breathe through 2 blowholes located near the top of the head.


SPEED
The blue whale can reach speeds of 4.8-32 kph. It can reach speeds of 48
kph when in danger. When it is feeding, it will go around speeds of 1.6-
6.2 kph.

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