Our giants of the sea: Blue Whales

Artigo As Nossas Gigantes do Mar Baleias Azuis
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The Blue Whales

The Blue WhaleBalaenoptera musculusIt is the largest animal in the world, reaching up to 33 meters in length and weighing up to 180 tons!

Despite their bluish gray coloration, these giants of the sea are known as Blue Whales because of their unmistakable blue when seen underwater.

In the dorsal region they present small spots that are characteristic of each individual (like a fingerprint) and their dorsal fin is also
characteristically small, particularly when compared to other whales.


Baleia Azul
Blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus), showing the spots on the dorsal area.
Baleia Azul


Blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus), showing its vents.

The heart of these whales can weigh as much as a small car and the tongue as much as an elephant!

Being baleen whales, they feed on krill, and can eat up to 4 tons a day.
Like the mammals they are, Blue Whale babies can drink up to 225 liters of milk per day, gaining 3 kg per hour!

They are recognized on the surface through their breath, which can reach up to 9 meters in height. When they dive, they can stay immersed for 10 to 30 minutes and can reach a depth of 200 to 500 meters.

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Blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus), coming to the surface to breathe.

These animals use low frequency sounds to communicate with each other, they can be heard up to 1000 miles away and it is estimated that they can live up to 90 years!

Information taken from:
Shirihai, H., & Jarret, B., Whales, Dolphins and Seals: A Field Guide to the Marine Mammals of the World, A&C Black London, 2006.


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