10 Interesting Facts about the endangered Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus)
- Growing to one-hundred feet long and weighing up to 200 tons the blue whale is the largest animal to have ever lived on earth. Their tongues can weigh as much as an elephant and their hearts as much as a car!
- The blue whale is actually closer to a grayish blue color rather than a solid blue. It isn’t until the whale dives under the water that it takes on the solid blue appearance.
- A healthy adult blue whale can live for 80-90 years.
- The blue whale can eat as many as 40 million krill per day or around 8,000 lbs. daily in order to power its massive body.
- Except for occasional but still quite rare attacks by pods of killer whales on very young and small individuals, blue whales are not known to have any natural predators.
- When searching for food the blue whale can hold its breath for up to 35 minutes
- Depending on where the research has been gathered it is estimated that as much as 95% – 99% of the entire blue whale population was killed during the whaling era.
- After about a year of being inside it’s mother’s womb, a baby blue whale emerges weighing up to 3 tons and stretching 25 feet. It eats nothing but mother’s milk and gains about 200 pounds every day for its first year!
- Blue whales are one of the loudest animals on the planet. Although usually inaudible to humans, the whales emit pulses, groans and moans. Scientists believe that in good conditions, these sounds can be heard by other whales up to 1,000 miles away.
- Recovery remains slow for this magnificent and iconic animal but rebounds in the Eastern Pacific population of blue whales (returning to an estimated 97% of historic pre-whaling levels) indicate promising trends. While numerous threats remain, especially strikes on animals by passing ships, the now healthy and sustainable number of whales that traverses the waters from Northern California to Costa Rica indicate there is hope that the amazing and beautiful blue whale will recover globally as well.
Ever wonder what it would be like to swim next to such a beautiful creature? You now can. In February 2017 there is a once in a lifetime opportunity to join the Sri Lanka and Maldives trip to snorkel alongside the giant blue whale. Hope to see you there! For more information, please visit our trips.