The Largest Animal on Earth: The Blue Whale

I was trying to decide on the first animal post of 2023.  Took a while before I realized that I should start with the gentle giant: Blue Whale.

These whales can grow from 80 to 100 feet with the record being 108 feet.  They can weigh from 100,000 to 150,000 pounds.  Their tongue alone weighs about as much as a full-grown elephant.  A blue whale’s heart alone can be 400 pounds and it may only beat twice per minute when the animal is submerged.  They start off big too with newborn calves being 8,800 pounds and 26 feet long.  Blue whales have one of the fastest growth rates in the animal kingdom at 200 pounds per day.

One thing about the blue whale is that it feeds on one of the small animals.  Blue whales have baleen, which are filter-like ‘teeth’ in their mouths.  They move through the ocean and the water goes through the baleen.  The hairs catch the tiny food, which is then swallowed by a throat that is the size of a dinner plate.  In other words, a blue whale would choke on a human.  They eat nearly 9,000 pounds of krill a day.

Blue whales are the loudest animals on the planet too.  Their calls can be heard by others from up to 1,000 miles away.  They hit a decibel level of 188.  To compare, a jet engine comes in at 140 decibels.  Blue whales can call at a very low frequency as well.  Their range here is 8-25 hertz.  The songs vary by population groups too.  Studies have shown that there is a decline in tonal frequency, which may be due to an increase in populations . . . That brings us to everyone’s favorite part.

The blue whale is considered endangered, but it’s population is slowly increasing.  They gestate for 10-12 months, which means they don’t give birth very often.  This doesn’t easily offset the damage that was done by its top predator, which isn’t the orca.  Yes, orcas do hunt blue whales, but human whaling in the past decimated the blue whales.  They used to be untouchable until someone invented those huge harpoon guns.  This brought them from 350,000 to the current number of 25,000, which is slowly increasing.  People wanted their oil back in the day, but they’ve been protected since 1966.  Currently, they are still in danger from being struck by large shipping vessels and pollution.

Let’s go to the pictures and videos:

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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20 Responses to The Largest Animal on Earth: The Blue Whale

  1. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    There’s nothing fishy about this article by Charles 😃

    Like

  2. Just the shape of them is incredible.

    Like

  3. Blue Whales always spark our interest and a good creature to start the year with. They seem to prove one doesn’t need good helpings of red meat to build up one’s strength, but I have always felt sorry for them with a diet that sounds incredibly boring!

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  4. Great way to start the animal posts, Charles. These are magnificent creatures.

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  5. Amazing start to the new year.

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  6. V.M.Sang says:

    When I was a child, I used to love going to the zoo. The nearest zoo to where I lived in the UK was Chester Zoo, in the north west of England. There was a jawbone of a blue whale on display for many years. Perhaps it’s still there; I’ve no idea.
    It was huge.
    It’s good to hear they are slowly increasing in numbers.

    Like

  7. This is very impressive especially that their calls can be heard up to 1,000 miles away! Glad to know that they are increasing. Photos are amazing. Thanks for sharing this. It’s a great first animal post for the new year, Charles.

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  8. Pingback: *Press This* The Largest Animal on Earth: The Blue Whale #265 | Its good to be crazy Sometimes

  9. Jennie says:

    Such a beautiful animal. Thank you, Charles.

    Like

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