7 Facts about Blue Whales

The blue whale, is the largest animal ever known to have lived on the planet. Here’s what you need to know about the majestic marine mammal.

Balaenoptera musculus, the blue whale, is the largest animal ever known to have lived on the planet – larger than dinosaurs, and movie monsters aside. Not a whale you can keep in captivity.… Even at birth it is one of the world’s biggest animals!.The planet is covered with amazing, fascinating creatures, but the blue whale ranks among one of the most superlative. Consider the following.

1. How big is a blue whale?

They are gigantic. Generally ranging in length from 80 to 100 feet (24 to 30 meters), the longest one ever recorded was a magnificent 108 feet long.

2. How much does a blue whale weigh?

These gentle giants weigh up to 200 tonnes, or around 441,000 pounds.

3. They’ve got big hearts

The blue whale’s heart is huge! It is about 5 feet long, 4 feet wide, and 5 feet tall and weighs around 400 pounds; its beat can be detected from two miles away.

4. They’re loud … and make long-distance calls for free

Blue whales, in fact, are the loudest animals on the planet. A jet engine registers at 140 decibels, the call of a blue whale reaches 188. Their language of pulses, groans, and moans can be heard by others up to 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) away.

5. Are blue whales fast?

They travel a lot, spending summers feeding in polar regions and making the long trip to the Equator as winter comes along. While they have a cruising speed of 5 MPH, they can accelerate up to 20 MPH when needed.

6. They’ve got long lives

While not nearly as old as the Earth’s oldest trees, blue whales are among the planet’s longest-lived animals. Kind of like counting tree rings, scientists count layers of wax in the ears and can determine a ballpark age. The oldest they’ve discovered this way was calculated to be around 100 years old, though the average life is thought to be around 80 to 90 years.

7. Their future is unclear

While commercial whaling is no longer a threat, recovery has been slow and new threats plague blue whales, like ship strikes and the impact of climate change. There is one population of around 2,000 blue whales off the coast of California – but all told there are only around 10,000 to 25,000 individuals left. The World Conservation Union (IUCN) Red List rates them as Endangered. Hopefully with time, the planet’s giantest gentle giants will again roam the seas aplenty.

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