About animals

Blue whale - Blue whale


The blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) belongs to the family of minke whales and toothless whales.

Blue (blue) whale is:
Kingdom - Animals
Type - Chordates
Subtype - Vertebrates
Class - Mammals
Infraclass - Placental
Squad - Cetaceans
Suborder - Toothless Whales
Family - Striped
Rod - Stripes
View - Blue Whale

Blue whales in the sea
The blue whale is the largest creature that lived on earth. Its weight, in rare cases, reaches 200 tons and a length of 33 meters. The average length is 23-29 meters. This is truly a huge animal, just a giant. Previously, its range was from the Antarctic to the Arctic, but whaling almost destroyed the blue whale. To date, the blue whale is listed in the International Red Book and the Red Book of Russia.

The blue whale has an elongated, slender bluish-gray, flat on the side, a body with gray spots of different sizes and shapes. The back and sides are of a light color, lighter than the general tone. And the head and jaw are dark in color. The head has an angle of 45 °, wide from above. The pectoral fins have a narrow, pointed and long shape. Caudal fin wide, with pointed edges. The blue whale has about 60 submandibular throat folds.

The blue whale fountain is not very sprayed. Height is from 6 to 9 meters.
Blue whales swim in 2 or 3 individuals, and sometimes alone. Trying not to swim to the shores. Several groups can gather in places of accumulation of plankton. The speed of the blue whale is 9-13 km / h. If the whale is scared or runs away, it develops a speed of 25 km / h, and releases small fountains every 30 seconds.

A blue whale dives for 10-12 minutes, if the condition is calm. After a long and deep dive, it first appears on the surface of the spiracle, on the crown of the head. A small dorsal fin is visible when the front of the whale is already under water. After the fountain, the whale arches its back. A blue whale, the caudal fin, as a rule, does not show, but strongly exposes the caudal stalk in a semicircle.

After extermination, the whale can be found already in a smaller area. So the range of blue whale is now as follows: the Bering and Chukchi Seas, the area of ​​the Commander, Aleutian Islands, as well as the Kuril Ridge. It also swims into the northwestern part of the Pacific Ocean and the Anadyr Gulf.

During a day, a blue whale eats about 1 ton of krill (about 1 million calories), which it mainly feeds on. A whale swallows krill, along with thousands of liters of water, floating through its accumulations, and then filters it by pushing all this mass out with its tongue through the whale. By the way, the language of the blue whale weighs more than an elephant, and the thickness is more than 3 meters.


Blue whale whale (Balaenopteridae family), a family that includes humpback whales, on Finwal, Bryde whale, saivail, and Lesser whale. The Balaenopteridae family is believed to have deviated from other families of the whiskered whale suborder back in the middle of the Oligocene (28 million years ago). The blue whale pedigree diverged from other minke whales in the Miocene, between 7.5 and 10.5 million years ago. However, the flow of genes between species seems to continue after this date. Blue whale has the greatest genetic diversity of any whale, and is higher than the average diversity among mammals.

Blue whale is generally classified as one of eight species of the genus. Balaenoptera , one organ places it in a separate genus monotypic, Sibbaldus but it is not accepted in other countries. DNA - sequencing analysis shows that the blue whale is phylogenetically closer to the save ( Balaenoptera borealis ) and whale (Bride) Balaenoptera brydei ) than to others Balaenoptera species, and closer to the humpback whale ( Megaptera ) and gray whale ( Eschrichtius ) than that minke whales ( Balaenoptera acutorostrata and Balaenoptera bonaerensis ).

There have been at least 11 documented cases of blue whale-final hybrid adults in the wild. Arnason and Gallberg describe the genetic distance between the blue and the rib as approximately the same as between the human and the gorilla. Researchers from Fiji believe they photographed a humpback-Blue Whale hybrid including DNA detection from a meat sample found in the Japanese market.

The first published description of a blue whale comes from Robert Sibbald Phalainologia Nova (1694). In September 1692, Sibbald found a blue whale that was stranded in the Firth of Forth — male 24 m (78 ft) long — that had “black, horn plates” and “two large holes approaching a pyramid in shape.”

View name Musculus is Latin and can mean “muscle”, but it can also be interpreted as “mouse”. Karl Linney, who named this species in his founding Systema naturae 1758, would have known this, and perhaps intended an ironic double meaning. Herman Melville called this species “gray bottom” in his novel Moby Dick (1851) in connection with an orange-brown or yellow tint to the Bottom of diatom films on the skin. Other common names for the blue whale included "Sibbald's minke" (after Sibbald, who first described the species), "great blue whale" and "great northern whale". These names have now fallen into disuse. The first known use of the term “blue whale” was in Melville Moby Dick who only mentions it in passing and does not specifically attribute it to the species in question. The name really comes from Norwegian blåhval invented by Sven Foyn shortly after he perfected the harpoon gun, the Norwegian scientist GO Sars adopted it as the Norwegian common name in 1874.

Authorities classify species into three or four subspecies: B. m. Musculus , a northern blue whale composed of populations of the North Atlantic and the North Pacific, B. m. Sideshow , southern blue whale from the southern ocean, B. m. Brevicauda , then the dwarf blue whale is found in the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific, as well as the more problematic B. m. Indica , the great Indian minke whale, which is also found in the Indian Ocean and, although described above, may be the same subspecies as B. m. Brevicauda .

A dwarf blue whale is formed from the founders of a group of Antarctic blue whales about 20 thousand years ago, around the last glacial maximum. This is probably because the blue whales were driven north, expanding the ice, and some of them have remained there until now. The evolutionarily recent origin of the dwarf blue whale makes it have a relatively low genetic diversity.


The blue whale has a long tapering body that appears stretched compared to the stocky physique of other whales. Flat head U - shaped and has a noticeable crest extending from the spiracle to the upper part of the upper lip. The front of the mouth is thick with a mustache of plates, about 300 plates, each about one meter (3.3 ft) long, hanging from the upper jaw, running 0.5 m (20 inches) back into the mouth. Between 70 and 118 grooves (the so-called ventral folds) runs along the throat parallel to the length of the body. These folds help with the evacuation of water from the oral cavity after a loss of feeding (see feeding below).

The dorsal fin is small, its average height is about 28 cm (11 inches), and, as a rule, is in the range from 20 to 40 cm (7.9 and 15.7 inches), although it can be as small as 8 cm (3, 1 inch) or more, 70 cm (28 inches). This is only visible briefly during the dive sequence. Located about three quarters of the way along the length of the body, it changes in shape from one individual to another, some only have a barely noticeable piece, but others may have prominent and sickle-shaped (sickle-shaped) dorsal ones. When surfacing, breathing, a blue whale lifts its shoulder and breathes out of the water to a greater extent than other large whales, such as ribbed or sailes. Observers can use this feature to differentiate between sea views. Some blue whales in the North Atlantic and North Pacific raise their tail paw while diving. When breathing, the whale emits the vertical neck of a single column, typically 9 meters (30 feet) high, but reaches up to 12 meters (39 feet). Its lightweight capacity is 5,000 liters (1,300 US gallons). Blue whales have double shielded shells with great splash protection.

Flippers 3-4 meters (9.8-13.1 feet) long. The upper sides are gray with a thin white border, the lower sides are white. Head and tail fluke are usually uniformly gray in color. The upper parts of the whale, and sometimes the fins, are usually grit. The degree of spotting varies significantly from individual to individual. Some of them may have a uniform slate-gray color, while others show a significant change in dark blues, gray and black, all densely mottled.

Blue whales can reach speeds of 50 kilometers per hour (31 miles per hour) for short bursts, usually when interacting with other whales, but 20 kilometers per hour (12 miles per hour) is a more typical speed. Satellite telemetry of Australian dwarf blue whales migrating in Indonesia showed that they span between 0.09 and 455.8 km (0.056 and 283.221 miles) per day. When feeding, they slow down to 5 kilometers per hour (3.1 miles per hour).

Blue whales typically swim at a depth of about 13 meters (43 feet) when migrating to eliminate resistance from surface waves. The deepest dive is confirmed 506 meters (1,660 feet).

Blue whales usually live alone or with one other person. It is not known how long traveling couples stay together. In places where there is a high concentration of food, as many as 50 blue whales have been spotted scattered over a small area. They do not form large, close-knit groups seen in other species of baleen.

The size

The blue whale is the largest animal known to have ever lived.

Blue whales are difficult to weigh because of their size. They were never weighed whole, but cut into blocks of 0.5-0.6 m (1.6-2.0 ft) horizontally and weighed in parts. This caused a significant loss of blood and body fluids, estimated at about 6% of the total weight. In general, blue whales from the North Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean are smaller than the average of those from the Antarctic waters. Adult weight is usually between 45-136 tons (50-150 short tons). There is some uncertainty about the largest blue whale ever found, since most of the data came from blue whales, harvested in Antarctic waters during the first half of the twentieth century, which were collected by whalers not well versed in standard zoological measurement methods. The standard measurement method is to measure in a straight line from the upper jaw to the notch in the tail of the trematode. This happened because the edges of the tail of the trematodes were usually cut off, and the lower jaw often falls open after death. Many of the large whales in whaling records (especially those over 100 feet (30.5 m)) are probably measured incorrectly or even intentionally exaggerated. The heaviest weight was not reported was 173 tons (190 short tons); in the southern hemisphere of women in 1947, it is likely that the largest blue whales would have weighed more than 200 short tons (181 tons). The longest whales ever recorded were two females measuring 33.6 and 33.3 meters (110 and 109 feet), but in none of these cases were parts of the scales gathered. Perhaps the largest man recorded was killed near the South Shetland Islands in 1926 and was measured at 31.7 m (104 ft).

Females are typically several feet longer than males. However, males may be slightly heavier than average females of the same length, due to heavy muscles and bones. Verified measurements rarely exceed 28 meters (92 feet). The longest measured Macintosh and Wheeler (1929) was a female of 28.5 meters (94 feet), while the largest male was 26.45 meters (86.8 feet), one of the same authors, later found a male of 26, 65 m (87.4 ft) and stated that these lengths could be exceeded. The longest whale measured by scientists was 29.9 meters (98 feet) in length. Lieutenant. Quentin R. Walsh, USCG, Acting as Whaling Ship Base Inspector Ulysses , checked a measurement of 29.9 m (98 ft) a pregnant blue whale caught in the Antarctic in the 1937–38 season. A 26.8 meter (88 ft) male was tested by Japanese scientists in the 1947–48 whaling season. The longest reported North Pacific was 27.1 meters (89 feet) with women taken by Japanese whalers in 1959, and the longest reported North Atlantic was 28 meters (92 feet) a woman caught in the Davis Strait. The average weight of the longest scientifically tested samples (29.9 m (98 ft)) will be calculated as 176.5 tons (194.6 tons), ranging from 141 tons (155.4 tons) to 211.5 tons (233.1 tons) depending on the state of fat. One study found that a hypothetical 33 meter (108 ft) blue whale would be too large to exist in real life, due to metabolic and energy limitations.

Due to its large size, some organs of the blue whale are the largest in the animal kingdom. A blue whale tongue weighs about 2.7 tons (3.0 short tons) and, when fully expanded, its mouth is large enough to accommodate up to 90 tons (99 short tons) of food and water. Despite the size of his mouth, the size of his throat is such that a blue whale cannot swallow an object wider than a beach ball. A medium-sized blue whale heart weighs 400 pounds (180 kg) and is the largest known in any animal. During the first seven months of life, a blue whale calf drinks about 380 liters (100 US gallons) of milk every day. Blue whale calves gain weight quickly, just like 90 kilograms (200 pounds) every 24 hours. Even at birth, they weigh up to 2700 kg (5950 pounds) - the same as a hippopotamus has grown. Blue whales have proportionally small brains, only about 6.92 kg (15.26 pounds), about 0.007% of body weight, albeit with very tangled cerebral cortex. The blue penis whale is the largest penis of any living organism, and also set the Guinness World Record as the longest of any animal. The reported average length varies, but is usually mentioned to have an average length of 2.4 to 3.0 m (8 to 10 feet).


An adult blue whale can eat up to 40 million krill per day. Whales always feed in areas with high krill concentrations, sometimes eating up to 3,600 kg (7,900 pounds) of krill for one day. The daily energy requirement of an adult blue whale is in the region of 1.5 million kilocalories (6.3 GJ). Their feeding habit is seasonal. Blue whales are eaten by krill in the rich waters of the Antarctic before moving on to their nesting in warmer, less rich waters closer to the equator. A blue whale can take up to 90 times more energy, as it expends, which allows you to build up significant energy reserves.

Due to krill relocation, blue whales tend to feed at depths greater than 100 meters (330 feet) during the day and only surface feed at night. Diving times are usually 10 minutes when feeding, although diving up to 21 minutes is possible. The whale eats rushed forward in krill groups, taking the animal and plenty of water in its mouth. Water is then squeezed through pressure mustache plates from the ventral sac and tongue. After the mouth is clear of water, the remaining krill, unable to pass through the plate, is swallowed. Blue whale also consumes small fish along the way, crustaceans and squid caught up with krill.

Life story

Mating begins in late autumn and continues until the end of winter. Little is known about the behavior of mating or breeding. In the fall, males follow females for extended periods of time. Sometimes, a second man will try to displace the first, and the whales will overtake each other at high speed, ranging from 17 mph (27 km / h) to 20 mph (32 km / h) in New Zealand. This often leads to racing whales breaking through, which is rare in blue whales. This racing behavior can even develop into physical violence between males. Scientists have observed this behavior in several parts of the world, including St. Lawrence Bay in Canada and South Taranaki Bay in New Zealand.

Women usually give birth once every two to three years, at the beginning of winter after a gestation period of 10 to 12 months. The calf weighs about 2.5 tons (2.8 short tons) and is about 7 meters (23 feet) long. Blue whale calves drink 380-570 liters (100-150 US gallons) of milk per day. The blue milk whale has an energy content of about 18300 kJ / kg (4370 kcal / kg). The calf excommunicated after six months, by which time it had doubled in length. The calf’s first video thought that care had been filmed on February 5, 2016. Blue whales were sometimes known to hybridize with finwal, and a well-documented case exists from a humpback-blue whale hybrid in the South Pacific, despite significant differences in size and morphology. between two species.

Puberty is usually achieved in five to ten years. In the northern hemisphere, whaling records indicate that males averaged 20-21 m (66-69 ft) and females 21-23 m (69-75 ft) at puberty, while in the southern hemisphere were 22.6 and 24 m (74 and 79 ft), respectively. In the northern hemisphere, both adult males are average 24 m (79 ft) and female 25 m (82 ft) with an average estimated weight of 90.5 and 101.5 tons (100 and 112 tons), respectively. Blue whales were found in the eastern populations of the northern Pacific Ocean to be on average 0.91 m (3.0 ft) shorter, therefore males averaged 23.3 meters (76 ft) and 80.5 tons (88.5 tons) ) and a woman 24 meters (79 feet) and 90.5 tons (100 tons). Antarctic males average 25 m (82 ft) and females 26.2 m (86 ft), on average 101.5 and 118 tons (112 and 130 tons). Dwarf blue whales averaged 19.2 meters (63 ft) at puberty, with males averaging 21 meters and bitches 22 meters (69 and 72 ft) when matured, on average 76 and 90 tons (83.5 and 99 tons) )

In the northeastern Pacific Ocean, photogrammetric studies showed sexually mature (but not necessarily growing) blue whales today averaging 21.7 meters (71 feet) and about 65.5 tons (72 tons) with the largest found time of about 24.5 m (80 ft), 26.5 m (87 ft) woman washed ashore near Pescadero, California in 1979.

The weight of individual blue whales varies greatly depending on the fat status. Antarctic blue whales receive 50% of their lean body mass during the feeding season in summer, i.e. blue whale entering Antarctica weighing 100 tons will leave a weight of 150 tons. Pregnant women are likely to receive 60-65%. Fattening weight is 120% of average weight and muscle mass is 80%.

Scientists estimate that blue whales can live for at least 80 years, but since individual records are not dated in the whaling era, this will not be known with certainty for many years. The longest recorded study of one person is 34 years old in the northeastern Pacific Ocean.

The only natural predator for whales is the killer whale. Studies report that about 25% of mature blue whales have scars as a result of killer whale attacks. The mortality rate from such attacks is unknown.


Blue whale beaching is extremely rare, and since this species is mostly solitary, massive beaching is unheard of. When a landfall occurs, they may become a matter of public interest. In 1920, a blue whale washed near Bragar on Lewis Island in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. He was shot by whalers, but the harpoon did not burst. Like other mammals, the main instinct of the whale was to try to continue breathing at any cost, even if it meant pulling out to prevent itself from drowning. Two of the whale bones were installed in close proximity to the main road to Lewis and remains a tourist attraction.

In June 2015, a female blue whale was estimated to be 12.2 meters (40 feet) and 20 tons (22 tons) was stranded on a beach in Maharashtra, India, the first lively twist in the region. Despite the efforts of the Forest Albaug department and local fishermen, the whale died 10 hours after being stranded. In August 2009, a wounded blue whale stranded in a bay in Steingrímsfjördur, Iceland. The first rescue attempt failed, as a whale (thought to be longer than 20 meters) of a towed> 20 ton boat to shore at a speed of up to 7 mph (11 km / h). The whale was towed into the sea after 7 hours by a more powerful boat. It is not known whether he survived. In December 2015, a lively blue whale believed to be more than 20 meters (66 ft) long was rescued from a beach in Chile. Another multi-stranded blue whale, believed to be about 12.2 meters (40 feet) in length, was rescued in India in February 2016. Boats were used on all successful occasions.

Want to know everything

Despite its gigantic size, the blue whale feeds on tiny creatures - crustaceans from the euphausian order. Recently, scientists were able to capture in detail the feeding of a whale in the video.

The blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) is the largest modern animal, and probably the largest of all living creatures that have ever lived on Earth. Its length can reach 33 meters, and the mass can exceed 180 tons. Moreover, his diet almost exclusively consists of krill (6-centimeter crustaceans from the Euphausian order). Slowly swimming, a blue whale opens its mouth and draws water into it with a mass of small crustaceans. After that, the animal closes its mouth and with its tongue squeezes water back through the whalebone. Plankton settles on the fringe of a mustache and then is swallowed. In this case, by chance fish or other marine life may appear in the mouth, but they do not represent a separate food interest for the blue whale.

Due to its impressive size, the blue whale is forced to consume a huge amount of food. The tightly packed stomach of a giant animal can hold up to one and a half tons of food. On average, blue whales eat from 3.6 to 8 tons of krill per day, the number of crustaceans in this mass exceeds 40 million individuals. While eating, a blue whale passes up to 110 tons of water through a whisker, and in one “sip” it is able to fish up to 500 kilograms of krill from the water.

With the help of a drone, the blue whale feeding process was captured. By analyzing the record, scientists identify the sequence of its actions: having noticed the accumulation of krill, the whale slows down slightly (this time is spent on making a decision), then it flips on its side, moving its fins, and only then opens its mouth. Kit needs a lot of effort to open his gigantic mouth, so first he must make sure that his goal is edible. There is another whale in the video, which indifferently swims through the accumulation of krill: either he was not hungry, or did not have time to make the right decision in time.

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