In my childhood years, I thought the elephants are the largest animals in the world. But I was wrong. Nevertheless, I stayed with that thought up until my 8th-grade year. When the knowledge I got from a thick biology book opened my eyes to the world of animals, I learned that the largest animal in the world is a blue whale, not an elephant as I previously thought.
In this post, I decided to share the most interesting and the most valuable facts about blue whales. By learning each of these facts, you will be able to get to know these giants more closely.
HERE ARE THE 20 FACTS ABOUT BLUE WHALES:
1. Blue Whales are the largest animal that ever lived on our planet.
2. Blue Whales are not fish. They are considered mammals because they produce milk for their young ones, breath air, and contrary to fish, they are warm-blooded.
3. According to the DNA testing, Hippopotamus was categorized as a close relative of whales.
4. An average length of a blue whale can reach up to 98 ft (30 m), and its maximum weight is close to 200 metric tons. It is about the size of the Boeing 737.
5. The scientific name of the Blue Whale is Balaenoptera musculus. The word Balaenoptera consists of two Latin words, “Balaena” and “Pteron”: “Balaena” means whale, “Pteron” means fin. Two words jointly mean whale with fins. However, some scientists think that the second-word “Musculus” was given by mistake. Because the original meaning of the word Musculus in Latin is “Mouse”.
6. A blue whale is a living creature with the largest heart in the world. An average heart of a blue whale can weigh around 1,500 lbs (700kg). The length of the heart is about 5ft (1.5 m). It is about the size of a small car.
7. A normal human heart beats somewhere between 60 to 100 times per minute. But, a heart of a blue whale beats only 8-10 times per minute. No wonder why they are so calm.
8. When the males’ length reach 74 feet (22.6 meters), and the females reach about 79 feet (26 meters), they become sexually mature. They usually gain that length at the age of 5 and 6.
9. The average lifespan of a blue whale in the wilderness is somewhere between 80-90 years.
10. The Blue Whales have a large appetite. Their number one food is a tiny creature called krill (euphausiids). In certain times of a year, the blue whales consume about 4 tons of krill or 40 million krill a day.
FACTS ABOUT BLUE WHALES 11-20
11. Amazingly, blue whales can hear each other in 1000 miles (1600 km) away. They communicate through a series of pulses, moans, and groans.
12. A female blue whale gives birth a calf in every 2-3 years. The gestation period is 12 months.
13. A Blue Whale calve weighs over 3 tons, measures 25 feet (7.6 m) at its birth. From the day one up to a year, the calve is fed by only mother’s milk and gains about 200 pounds (91 kg) weight a day.
14. A nursing blue whale produces over 50 gallons (190 liters) of milk a day.
15. Between the years 1900 and mid-1960s, about 360,000 blue whales were killed. Those aggressive hunting activities greatly decreased their number. In order to increase the blue whale populations, International Whaling Commission started protecting them in 1966.
16. Typically, a blue whale swims at the speed of 14 miles per hour (22.5 km/h). However, when they feel danger or feel the urge of moving fast, blue whales can swim at the maximum speed of 30 miles per hour (48 km/h).
17. Hunting the blue whales is illegal, but it does not mean that humans do not cause grieve danger to them. For example, pollution and ship accidents are some of the cases that can lead them to death.
18. Blue Whales are entered to the IUCN’s red list as an endangered animal. According to the report, nowadays, somewhere between 10,000 to 25,000 blue whales are roaming freely in the world oceans. That is, of course, a low number when you compare it with 239,000 which was the blue whale population before the aggressive whale hunting began in the 1900s.
19. The elephants, whom I thought to be the largest animals in the world, are actually way smaller than the Blue Whales. For instance, a tongue of a blue whale alone is about the size of an elephant.
20. Blue Whales exist in all of the Oceans. Mostly, groups of blue whales are found in the North Atlantic, North Pacific, and Southern hemisphere regions.
The map featured below shows the locations of the blue whale population.
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