The Biggest Whale

Adult blue whale from the eastern Pacific Ocean. U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The Biggest Whale: Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus)

At 98 feet long and weighing in at 180 metric tons, the blue whale is the biggest animal ever to have existed on earth. The behemoth's tongue can weigh as much as a fully-grown elephant and a human could easily crawl through the arteries of it's 2,000 pound heart. The IUCN ranks the blue whale as "endangered" due to whaling and change in ocean currents and temperature due to climate change. Before whaling, most blue whales lived in the Antarctic ocean, but now small groups estimated at 2,000 whales live in the North Pacific, the Indian Ocean, and the Antarctic. The blue whale typically lives alone, or with one other partner, although they have been seen clustered together where food is plentiful. They communicate using vibrations and moans known as "songs." Scientists have measured the frequencies and pitches of these songs to discover that each has a specific meaning.

Mammal / Whale


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