FAST FACTS ABOUT THE BLUE WHALE
Hey did you know that the Blue whale is the largest animal that has ever lived? They are even bigger than mast of the dinosaurs! They can get to be 100 ft long and can weigh around 150 tons! So what do you think they eat? They eat krill. But of course the can consume up to 4.5 metric tons a day.
The blue whale's upper parts (or the top half of his body) is a dark slate-blue, with light colored flecks. They are called the blue whale because of their bluish-gray color.
This whale is a baleen whale which means they don't have any teeth. So they take water containing tiny shrimp-like creatures (krill) in through the front of their mouth. Then they push the water back into the ocean through the side of their mouth. The blue whale then uses he baleen plates, at the side of his moth like a strainer. It keeps the food in the whale's mouth and lets out the water. A full-grown blue whale has over 300 baleen plates on each side of his mouth!
Where does the blue whale live? Well the blue whale can be found in three different places. They either live in the Antarctic, the North Pacific or the North Atlantic. However scientists believe that there is more food in the Antarctic for whales. They also think it may be richer in vitamins. But in the winter blue whales migrate to warm waters. They eat very little in the warm water. The blue whale is always the first to return to the cold polar waters in the spring. When they return they find lots to eat. Blue whales are always the first whales to return home.
During the time that the blue whales were migrating a baby whale is born. They can be as big as a full grown whale when they are born. An average whale calf is about 23 feet long and weigh over five tons when born. What do they eat and drink? A baby calf drinks his mother's milk for the fist six months. The calf grows very quickly because the milk is rich in vitamins. Blue whale calves grown two inches and 200 pounds a day during this time.
Why were blue whales hunted? Blue whales were hunted for their blubber. A blubber is a thick layer of fat under the skin which was boiled down to make blubber oil or whale oil. Blubber from an average blue whale makes between 10 and 20 tons of oil, but a blue whale has made 50 tons (that was the most ever made). No one is allowed to kill blue whales because very few are left.