Blue Whale


Blue whales are found in every ocean, ranging from the equator to the ice edges in the North and South poles.

The blue whale is the largest animal on the planet, weighing as much as 200 tons (approximately 33 elephants). The blue whale has a heart the size of a Volkswagen Beetle. Its stomach can hold one ton of krill and it needs to eat about four tons of krill each day. They are the loudest animals on Earth and are even louder than a jet engine. Their calls reach 188 decibels, while a jet reaches 140 decibels. Their low frequency whistle can be heard for hundreds of miles and is probably used to attract other blue whales.
Whales are at the top of the food chain and have an important role in the overall health of the marine environment. During the 20th century, the blue whale was an important whaling target and even after it was protected and commercial whaling stopped in 1966, exploitation efforts by the former Soviet Union persisted.
Like other large whales, blue whales are threatened by environmental change including habitat loss and toxics. Blue whales can also be harmed by ship strikes and by becoming entangled in fishing gear. Although commercial whaling no longer represents a threat, climate change and its impact on krill (shrimp-like crustaceans), blue whales’ major prey, makes this cetacean particularly vulnerable.

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