Blue Whale

By K.T.

Description

  • Blue whales are marine mammal. (Wikipedia)
  • Blue whales are usually blue-gray with white-gray spots. The underbelly has brown, yellow, or gray specks, there's also a yellowish hue because of millions of microorganisms that lives in their skin. (Nat. Geo.)
  • Blue whales can be up to 200 tons (181,437 kg) , 82 to 105 ft (25 to 32 m) in length.
  • Blue whales can hear each other up to 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) away. They use vocalization to make a sound that goes through the water. They gain information about their surrounding from the return ( bounced back ) sound.
  • Blue whales are the largest animal ever lived. A blue whale's heart is the size of a Volkswagen Beetle, It pumps 10 tons of blood through the blue whale's body. A human is able to crawl through the blue whales main blood vessel. (NOAA FISHERIES)

Food Chain & Habitat

  • Blue whales eat krill. An adult blue whale can eat up to 40 million krill per day. (Wikipedia)
  • Finds food deep in the ocean.
  • Blue whales are carnivore
  • Blue whales are the predator of krill.
  • They are being seen in many oceans like the Antarctic Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean , and the Pacific Ocean. (WhaleFacts.org)
  • Lives in deep temperate cold region.
  • They feed in high latitudes and migrate to the tropics to breed and give birth. (NOAA FISHERIES)

Adaptation


  • Blue whales breath under water with its blowhole. The blowhole is located on top of the head to get air. (Balaenoptera musculus)
  • They have lungs that can exchange 80-90% of oxygen.
  • Blubber of the blue whale controls the heat to maintain its body temperature for living in the ocean.
  • Blue whales have eyes that have an average size is that of a grapefruit. They lack tear glands and eyelashes.
  • Blue whales have excellent hearing to navigate in the dark ocean depth.
  • They only rest half of their brain while the other half stays awake to prevent drowning.
  • Their tail is very broad to propel the whale through the depth of the ocean.
  • They have baleen attached to their upper jaws. They eat by gulping an enormous mouthful of water and expanding the pleated skin on their throat and belly to take it in. Then the whale's tongue forces the water out through the baleen plates. Thousands of krill are left inside. (Nat. Geo.)


Reasons for Endangerment

  • Whales are hunted for meat and for their blubber which was used to make raw materials like cooking oil, soaps, and candles. (WhalesFacts.org)
  • Blue whales are often attacked by sharks and killer whales, and many were injured or dead because of large ships. Blue whales are currently classified as endangered on the World Conservation Union (IUCN) Red List. (Nat. Geo.)
  • Between 1900 and the mid-1960s, some 360,000 blue whales were slaughtered. They came under protection with the 1966 International Whaling Commission.
  • They are threatened by environmental change including habitat loss and toxic. Blue whales are also harmed by ship strikes and by fishing gear. Climate change and its impact on krill, makes them particularly vulnerable. (WWF)
  • Norway and Japan still kill enormous amount of whales. Some will die instantly and some will suffer long and inhumane deaths. (WSPA)

Critical Information

Blue whales are beautiful creatures belonging to our Nature. We should do what we can to help.

  • Whaling was banned long ago.
  • Now the blue whales are protected under Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act but there are still some countries that are whaling. (NOAA FISHERIES)
  • Continued international protest, aimed particularly at those few countries still on whaling can be a powerful influence to save the whales.
  • There are many websites trying to gather people to help save the whales.
  • There are people adopting whales and donating funds.