Blue Whales are the largest living animals on earth. They come under mammals’ category as they fed baby whales on milk. According to current estimates, the population of blue whales is in the range of 5000-12000. Still researches are trying to find out the exact mating behavior of blue whales.
Till the beginning of 20th century, blue whales population is abundant and according to the estimates of researchers, their total population was in the range of 202,000 – 311,000. Their population started decreasing from then onwards as humans started to hunt whales. At one point of time, the total population of blue whales dropped below 3000. With efforts of several international organizations, their population is slowly picking up as of now.
Other known facts include :
- Sounds made by blue whales are in the range of 155 – 188 decibels. This is louder than a jet engine which produces sound in the range of 140decibels.
- Sounds made by blue whales with four notes are popular as blue whales songs. They are of two minute duration and this character is hard to observe in other species.
- Global warming is effecting the blue whale population. Blue whales migrate based on the oceanic temperatures and because of glaciers melting; thermohaline circulation gets disturbed which effects the blue whale migrating pattern.
- Blue whales often get trapped to fishing gear of gigantic ocean vessels. In some cases, this can even kill them.
- Sonar used in ships disrupts the natural behavior of whales. They tend to move away from source and because of this, decompression sickness is also observed in them.
- California coast is known for high concentration of whales and with efforts taken by several organizations, their population reached to 97% of pre whaling era.
- They can swim at 50kmph speed but the normal travelling speed is 20kmph.
- It can hold 5000 liters of water in its lungs and the weight of its tongue is almost equal to weight of an elephant.
- If all the conditions are good, blue whales can hear sounds produced by another blue whale even if they are 1600kms apart.
Despite of their gigantic size, they prefer krill which is just three to four inches long. They can eat 40 million krill per day. There are instances where a blue whale ate 3,600 kilograms of krill in a day. Because of their gigantic size, their energy requirements are also high and in the opinion of researchers, an adult blue whale requires 1.5 million kilocalories to perform its daily tasks.
They are whales that can be found everywhere in all oceans. They usually swim in pairs. They travel like this almost throughout their lives.
In general, blue whales are not seen in groups. Though scientists are yet to prove, several believe that whales feel emotions. Recently born blue whales drink 380–570 liters of milk every day. The energy content in the milk is high i.e. 18,300 kJ/kg and the weaning period is close to six months. In blue whales, flippers are three to four meters long. While breathing, spout up to 12mts can be observed which resembles a gigantic fountain. Their two blowholes are protected by splashguard.
They are curious and active. Tourists on whale-watching can observe the movement of whales. In most of the cases, whales come near to ship and then flee away. Despite of their huge size, they are active. Based on the thermohaline circulation, they even migrate 5000 miles per year and this proves their active life style. They are hard to train. Even scientists failed to know the intelligence levels of these animals. It is hard to communicate with them as our voice frequency and their voice frequency ranges are different.
Gestation period in blue whales is in the range of 10-12 months.Young ones became sexually mature by the time they reach ten years of age. In some cases, young blue whales become mature before reaching six years.
Blue whale population is on rise after whaling was banned by several countries. In the ICUN red list, blue whales come under endangered category which shows that they are not 100% safe. Several countries, organizations and clubs are trying to increase the blue whale population and organizing whale-watching tours to attract tourists.
Breeding occurs every three years. Gestation period is almost 1 year. After maturity, they can have off springs at these intervals.
Its huge U-shaped head can be easily observed from long distances also and their gigantic size clearly distinguishes them from other animals. The skull itself is more than 19feet in blue whales. In general, whales grow 80-100 feet long. There is no much difference between male and female whales as far as height and weight numbers are concerned. Blue whales weigh close to 200 tons. Blue and different shades of blue are commonly observed. Slate-grey colored markings can be observed in some cases. They don’t have any coat on their body.
Life Span :
Female blue whales live for about a maximum of 60 years. The male may live for 40 years. They mostly live to this age if they keep themselves safe and feed accordingly.
Health Issues :
Even researches don’t have any idea on diseases that occur in Blue Whales. Because of their gigantic size,no natural predators are there in oceans. But there are instances where some blue whales died of wounds caused by killer sharks.
As they live in sea, it is hard to groom them. Their gigantic size is another main hurdle one needs to think of, before thinking of grooming.
Images, Pics, Photos and Pictures of Blue Whale :
Shedding skin occurs rarely on the blue whale. It has a tough skin and looks smooth on the outside. The shedding could occur if they suffer from a skin disease.
Blue Whale Information :
- Its full name is Blue Whale.
- Scientists prefer the name Balaenopteramusculus.
- Oceans are their natural habitat.
- They are of gigantic size.
- They belong to Balaenopteridaefamily.
- The life expectancy of female Blue Whale is 50-60 years whereas the life expectancy of male Blue Whales is 30-40 years.
- They are long and slender.
- Female Blue Whales are 80-100 feet long.
- Male Blue Whales alsoreach same size and their length is in the range of 80–100feet.
- Blue Whales weigh close to 200 tons.
- Blue whales are generally seen in bluish-gray color.
- They are not suitable to breed as pets because of their gigantic size.