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Blue Whale Facts for Kids

Shashank Nakate
Beyond the fact that it is the largest animal in the world, there are many things about the blue whale that you will find interesting. Here's a compilation of blue whale facts that shed light on these things.
The blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus), which belongs to group of baleen whales, is the largest of all organisms living on the Earth. It can grow up to a length of 32 m and weigh around 200 tons. While it is predominantly indigo in color, the shade can vary from dark azure to slate. It has three subspecies: Balaenoptera musculus musculus, Balaenoptera musculus intermedia, and Balaenoptera musculus brevicauda.

Facts About the Blue Whale

  • The blue whale, as stated earlier, belongs to the group of baleen whales. Instead of teeth, these whales have baleen plates lined up inside their jaws. Krill, which is a kind of shrimp, forms a major chunk of their diet. 
  • They first swallow krill-infested water and then force out the water, whilst retaining krill, which they then gulp.
  • The blue whale has a huge appetite and requires around 4 - 8 tons of krill daily.
  • These whales are known to migrate for mating. This migration takes place in summer. Otherwise, they are found in all the oceans on the planet.
  • Reproduction in these whales takes place every 2 - 3 years. They have an average lifespan of 80 - 90 years. However, specimen that are 110-years old have also been recorded.
  • Diatoms are microorganisms found in the cold waters of the North Pacific, North Atlantic, and Antarctic, that attach themselves to the underside of whales.
  • Blue whales usually travel at a speed of 5 mph. However, they can accelerate up to 20 mph when agitated.
  •  The water sprayed by a blue whale at the time of exhalation can reach a height of 30 ft.
  •  At 2.7 metric tons, the tongue of a blue whale weighs as much as a full-grown elephant. It's heart, on the other hand, weighs roughly about 1,300 lb.
The hunting of blue whales on a large scale began in the 20th century. It was only in 1966 that the international community decided to protect whales. By then, however, whaling had brought them to the verge of extinction. It took a lot of efforts on the part of wildlife enthusiasts and administration to bring the species back on track.
  • At birth, a blue whale can measure around 8 m and weigh around 2 tons. That's roughly the size of an African elephant, the largest animal on land.
  • A growing baby whale puts on 90 lb every day only feeding on mother's milk. The daily intake of milk by a calf is in the range of 100 liters. That should give you a rough idea about the huge size and appetite of the mammalian species.
  • The sound produced by blue whales measures anywhere between 155 and 188 decibels (dB). It is believed that these whales can hear each other over a distance of 1,000 miles provided the conditions are ideal.
  • The blue whale is not just the largest animal on the planet today, but most probably the largest animal to have ever existed. It is even bigger than the largest dinosaur, Argentinosaurus of the Mesozoic Era.
Only because of these efforts, the estimated population of blue whales reached somewhere in the range of 5000 - 8000 individuals in 2007.Only because of these efforts, the estimated population of blue whales reached somewhere in the range of 5000 - 8000 individuals in 2007.