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Marine Wildlife  Blue Whales

Blue Whale - Blowing - Photo Courtesy of W.D.C.S. -
Photo: WDCS

Latin name: Balaenoptera musculus

Size: Adults are between 24 and 27 metres long. They weigh between 100 and 120 tonnes. Newborn blue whales are between 7 and 8m long.

Distribution: Rarely seen, but sometimes spotted around the coast as they migrate north from the equator to their summer feeding grounds.

Months seen: March to July.

Food: Krill.

Special features: The blue whale is probably the largest animal to have ever lived on earth. The biggest recorded specimen was 33m long and weighed 190 tonnes.

Despite their huge size, their diet consists of krill, which are tiny, shrimp-like creatures. They feed by taking large gulps of water loaded with krill. They then squeeze all the water out through their plate-like teeth, called 'baleen'. The krill remain trapped in the teeth and are then swallowed.

The body colour is pale blue mottled with grey. The underside is a lighter blue or white.

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UK Safari Marine Mammal Section
UK Safari Marine Wildlife Section

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