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2007 Blue Whale Strandings

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  Fun Facts About Blue Whales
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  • Blue Whales (Balaenoptera musculus) are the largest animals that ever lived on the planet and live in all oceans. They may reach up to 85 feet in length and weigh up to 150 tons.
  • The heart of a Blue Whale is about the size of a VW beetle and weighs 1,000 pounds or more. The aorta (main artery in the heart) is 9 inches in diameter, which is about the size of a dinner plate.
  • Blue Whales breathe through a blow hole located on top of the skull. The blow hole is about the size of a garbage can lid.
  • Blue Whales live almost entirely on krill, small (1-2 inch), shrimp-like zooplankton. A Blue Whale may consume up to 8,000 pounds of krill per day.
  • Blue Whales do not have teeth. Rather, they have 260-400 fringed plates of baleen (a fingernail-like materials) hanging from each upper jaw. They feed by taking a huge quantity of sea water into its mouth and expelling it through the baleen plates, straining out the krill found in the water.
  • Blue Whales are slow breeders. A female typically gives birth to a calf every two to three years.
  • A Blue Whale calf nurses for about seven months, drinking 100 gallons of milk daily and doubling in size during that period. The mother’s milk contains 35-50% milk fat.
  • Until they began to be hunted, Blue Whales were quite common, with several hundred thousand individuals worldwide. Today, it is estimated that there are between 5,000 to 12,000 Blue Whales. Our local population is between 2,000 to 3,000 animals.

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