This article covers blue whale facts for kids including blue whale habitat, diet, species, and reproduction. The blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) is the largest marine animal with the weight of about 180 metric tons (200 short tons). Blue whale is 30 metres (98 feet) long. The head covers 25% of their entire body length. Early in the twentieth century these whales were abundant in almost all waters of the Earth. Due to excessive hunting the population significantly declined over the decades. A research was carried out, about the exact population in 2002 which revealed that there were 5,000 – 12,000 blue whales worldwide. Blue whales are mostly found in the Pacific, Antarctic, North Atlantic, and Indian Ocean. Antarctic is the main hub of these animals, hosting more than 230,000 whales.
Blue Whale Facts For Kids
- These marine animals exhibit several bluish-grey shades together with a long willowy body.
- Its U-shaped head coupled with baleen plates gives it an unmistakable appearance. These plates are 300 plates (each around one metre (3.2 ft) long. There are around 70 – 118 grooves (ventral pleats).
- The blue whale lungs are capable to withhold 5,000 litres (1320 U.S. gallons) of water. In order to breathe they rise to the water surface while emitting sprout up to 12 m (39 feet).
- The length of the flippers measure around 3-4 metres (9.8-13 ft).
- They reach a speed of about 50 kilometres per hour (31 mph) in short period of time, with an average speed of 20 km/h (12 mph).
- These animals are found in an area where food is abundant. There may be 45 – 50 gatherings.
- The blue whales weigh around 150-170 metric tons (170-190 short tons) together with ah length of about 27 m (89 feet).
- The largest blue whale ever measured at 190 metric tons (210 short tons), and the longest whales recorded at 33.6 m (110 feet).
- The weight of the tongue is about 2.7 metric tons (3.0 short tons). The weight of the blue whale heart is about 600 kg (1,300 lb).
Blue Whales Diet
Do you know what do blue whales eat? These animals predominantly feed on krill, copepods, Meganyctiphanes norvegica, Thysanoessa raschii, Thysanoessa inermis, Thysanoessa longicaudata, Euphausia pacifica, Thysanoessa inermis, Thysanoessa longipes, Thysanoessa spinifera, and Nyctiphanes symplex. They consume 40 million krill every day. Blue whales dive 100 m (330 feet) deep into the ocean in order to feed on krill. They can be submerged for about 30 minutes. Though occasionally, these whales also feed on crustaceans, fish, and krill.
Blue Whale Habitat
Most people aren’t actually aware as to where do blue whales live? Recently one of the largest colonies of blue whales has been discovered in Sri Lanka. Marine Biologists hold that the largest blue whales also believed to have existed in Sri Lanka. Surprisingly, this greatest colony has been unknown until recently since people (including native) had not been allowed to visit these waters due to three-decade long wars.
Blue whale facts about its habitat show that one of the largest concentrations is found in Antarctic with an annual increase of about 7.3%. Besides, the population is also increasing in Iceland and California. Nevertheless, the largest population of blue whales exists in Alaska, Coast Rica and other Northeast Pacific regions. Other places include Greenland, Nova Scotia, Chile, Peru, Oman, Maldives, and Newfoundland.
Interesting Blue Whale Facts about Reproduction
- A newly born calf drinks 400 litres (100 U.S. gallons) of milk each day and it continues to drink for 6 – 7 months.
- The weight of the calves measures around 2,700 kilograms (6,000 lb).
- The mating period ranges from autumn to the end of winter.
- Females litter 2 – 3 calves in winter. The gestation period lasts for 10 – 12 months.
- The weight of the calves measures around 2.5 metric tons (2.8 short tons), with the length measuring 7 m (23 feet).
- They turn out to be mature after 5 – 10 years.
- While the average length of blue whales in the Northern Hemisphere measures at 21 – 23 m (69 – 75 feet) for females and 21 – 21 m (65.6 – 69 feet) for males when they reach maturity; in the Southern Hemisphere the length is 22.6 m (74 feet) for males and 24 m (79 feet) for females.
- The lifespan of these animals is about 80 years, with an average lifespan of 35 – 40 years.
Facts about the Blue Whale Species
- B. m. indica
- B. m. brevicauda
- B. m. musculus
- B. m. intermedia