Blue Whales

(Whale Noise) (Whale Noise) (Whale Mate Call) XD LOL!

What do Blue Whales look like?

The body of a blue whale is a maximum of 98 feet (30 m) long in the southern hemisphere and 89 feet (27 m) in the northern hemisphere. Adult blue whales weigh approximately 360,000 lbs. (160 tons), equal to about 23 adult elephants. Females are somewhat larger than males. The body of the blue whale is tapered and streamlined to help increase the whale’s swimming speed.

The coloration of a blue whale is blue-grey with lighter gray mottling on a darker background, like dark marble. The variation in color patterns between whales helps identify individuals. The underside of the flippers may be light colored or white, and the underside of the fluke is dark. In the cold waters of the Antarctic, North Atlantic, and North Pacific, microorganisms called diatoms attach

themselves to the underside of the whale.

How did the Blue Whale Get it's name?

The blue whale was named for its color, a bluish-grey that looks aquamarine under the water. They are also called “sulphur bottoms” because of the color of the underside

(see below). The scientific name, Balaenoptera musculus, means two things. Balaenoptera means “winged whale” and musculus means “muscular” or “mouse.” The latter name was probably given to the animal as a joke by Linnaeus, the Swedish taxonomist who named the species. The largest of all whales is much bigger than a mouse. There are three types of Blue whales: the northern hemisphere blue whale, Balaenopter musculus musculus; the pygmy blue whale,

Did you know?

Blue whales are the largest animals to ever live on earth? The largest blue whale ever recorded was 110 feet (33.6 m) long and weighed nearly 200 tons (180,000 kg).

Where do they live?

Blue whales live in all the oceans of the world, and prefer coastal shelf and oceanic

waters. Blue whales move as the seasons change, but their movements are not well –

understood. Many blues migrate toward the Tropics during the winter’s colder temperatures to feed and possibly mate. There is however, evidence to suggest some individual blue whales may remain in low latitudes (closer to the equator) year round. The routes they take to and from the summer feeding grounds are difficult to follow because blue whales travel in the open ocean.

How long do they live?

Scientists think blue whales live for at least 80-90 years, possibly longer.

What do they eat?

Blue whales mainly eat krill. The whales eat different species depending on where they live. During the summer months, the whales will eat approximately 4 tons of food each day. Blue whales that live off of Baja California in Mexico have been known to eat red crabs.

What sound do Blue Whales make and why?

These largest of all animals make some of the most booming sounds of any whale. Their calls have been called “trills” and “moans” or pulses (short sounds that are regularly repeated) lasting up to 30 seconds. The whales use slightly different combinations of pulses in sequences that can last for nearly an hour at a time and be repeated over many days. Blue whale sounds range from as low as 7 Hz up to about 200Hz, but most of the calls are between about 16 and 28 Hz. These loud sounds are so low in frequency that humans cannot hear some of them without special equipment to raise the pitch. We still do not know very much about exactly what blue whales use their sounds for, but considering the fact that they can be detected over 700 miles (1126 km) away, they may well be used in communicating with other individuals over very long distances. We do know that there are distinct groups of blue whales in different parts of the ocean. Differences between their vocalizations have been shown to be one useful way of telling

different populations apart.

Glossary (For words you don't know!)

Baleen: Overlapping plates that hang from each

side of the upper jaw of certain species of


Barnacles: Marine animals with hard shells that

attach to underwater surfaces

Blow: The spout of air, water, and mucus when a

whale surfaces to breathe

Diatom: Microorganism

Dorsal fin: Fin on the back of whales, dolphins,

porpoises, or fishes

Extinction: The worldwide absence of a species

Extirpated: Destroyed

Fluke: End of a whale’s tale

Keratin: A substance like fingernails

Krill: Tiny, shrimp-like animals

Microorganism: An animal or plant that can only

be seen with a microscope

Northern hemisphere: The half of the world

North of the equator

Notch: Indentation

Parasite: An organism that grows, feeds, and

shelters on another organism

Pod: Group of whales, dolphins, or porpoises

Population: Distinct group of animals within a

species that mate only within their group

Pulse: A short sound that is regularly repeated

Range: Area where an animal can be found,

includes seasonal movements; the difference

between the highest and lowest sound

Southern Hemisphere: The half of the world

South of the equator

Species: A group of animals with common

characteristics and genetic make-up that


Taxonomist: Person who classifies organisms into


Tropics: Region of the earth lying between the

Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer

Ventral pleats: Long indentations in the skin

under the mouth that expand when the whale

takes in water; allows the whale’s mouth to hold

more water than when not expanded

Amazing Blue Whale - the biggest animal on our Earth!
Blue Whale Song. Deep Sounds from a Blue Whale