A Tale of a Whale by Suzanne Michelle

A Tale of a Blue Whale


Have You Ever Seen the Heart of a Blue Whale?

Did you know that the blue whale is the largest animal that has ever lived? Yes, these gorgeous whales are the biggest. Bigger than African Elephants or any other creature from the sea.

What is the actual size of a blue whales heart?

As you can see from the photo above, it is rather large! But how large? On average a blue whale’s heart is 5 feet long, 4 feet wide and 5 feet tall! And it weighs 400 lbs! It’s about the size of a small piano. That’s 640 times bigger than our human heart. (1)

How big is a blue whale?

If you travel to New York City, you can visit a model of the 94 foot long blue whale in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life at the American Museum of Natural History. The Balaenoptera musculus (or blue whale) is the biggest cetacean in the world. (2) But do you know that the female blue whale is bigger than the male? The largest being up to 110 feet long!

How much does a blue whale weigh?

Can you believe that a blue whale can weigh up to 300,000 pounds??!!! That’s 150 tons! Even though they have huge hearts, it is still only 1% of their entire body weight. (4)

How many blue whales are on the planet? 

Experts say between 10,000 and 25,000, which is actually an increase from 10 years ago when estimates were only 8,000. However, considering there were once 350,000 that roamed our oceans, that’s a 99% reduction in 200 years. It is very sad that we have lost so many these incredible gentle giants from whaling. There is no need for animal products in anything we consume.

Where do blue whales live?

It appears that they like to roam the entire planet! However, for some reason they don’t go to the Mediterranean Sea and they don’t like the most northern parts of the Arctic. Other than that, there’s a chance to see them in most of our oceans. That’s an exciting thought!

What do blue whales eat?

Blue whales eat tiny shrimp like creatures called “Krill” and they consume up to 7,715 pounds of them per day. They don’t have teeth and instead are captured in their large mouths with “baleen” which is these long and stiff hairlike structures. (4)

What do they sound like?

You can listen to the sounds of blue whales here. Do you know that their voice can be heard from up to 1000 miles?! They are also the loudest of all the whales with sounds ranging up to 200 decibels. (5)

Are there more than one species of blue whale?

Yes! There are 4 of them. Northern Subspecies, Northern Indian Ocean subspecies, the Antarctic subspecies and a Pygmy subspecies. 

Are blue whales endangered?

Thankfully, the blue whale is still considered an endangered species, which protects them from whaling. However, certain governments in other countries insist on whaling such as Japan, Norway and Iceland. (3) Even though technically it is illegal, they have found legal loopholes justifying it as “scientific whaling”.  Thankfully, many people pledged not to travel to Iceland because of this and the government responded by sharply reducing its whaling practices. This is a great example of why we stand up for the rights of animals. It works! 

(1) https://blog.education.nationalgeographic.org/2015/08/31/how-big-is-a-blue-whales-heart/

(2) https://a-z-animals.com/blog/blue-whale-population-how-many-blue-whales-are-there-in-the-world/

(3) https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/victories/commercial-whaling-banned/

(4) https://www.nwf.org/Educational-Resources/Wildlife-Guide/Mammals/Blue-Whale

(5) https://www.pmel.noaa.gov/acoustics/whales/sounds/sounds_whales_blue.html

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