Facts about Blue Whales


Scientific name: Balaenoptera musculus
Family: Balaenopteridae
Range: All oceans
Habitat: Oceanic waters
Status: Endangered
Population: 8,000 - 12,000
Diet: Crustaceans, especially krill and schooling fish
Length: 23 - 30 m; females larger than males
Weight 110 - 143 tons


Flukes: Flukes are occasionally raised before a dive.  Tail stock is very thick.  Flukes are elongate with a slight notch in the middle.
Dorsal fin: Dorsal fin is stubby and set far back on the body.  Less prominent than on fin whales.
Flippers: Flippers are blue-gray.  Long and slender.
Shape of head: Head is broad and flattened.  Narrow in profile.  Large splashguard.
Body: Streamlined body is extremely long.  Back and flanks are dark bluish gray, mottled with paler gray blotches.  Underside is white or pale blue-gray.
Blow: Tall, narrow blow up to 10m high.
Group size: Usually found singly or in paris, with larger groups at good feeding grounds.
Behaviour: Approachable, but swims rapidly if disturbed.  Youngsters breach, but adults only rarely.  When undisturbed, dives of 5-20 minutes may be followed by 12-18 blows at 10- to 20-second intervals.

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