Length

up to 29.9 meters (98 ft)

Weight

up to 300,000-400,000 lbs

Population

10,000-25,000

Distribution

The blue whale has a global distribution and can be found in all oceans except for the Arctic.

Description

The blue whale belongs to the baleen family. Their scientific name is Balaenoptera musculus. They are the largest animal to have ever existed. Blue whales are distinguished by their long, tapering bodies, which differ from the stockier shapes of other whales. The dorsal part of their bodies vary in bluish-grey colors, while their underbellies are lighter in color. They have been found to have rather small dorsal fins, which are only briefly seen when they choose to dive. The most distinguishing characteristic for whale watchers to look out for on blue whales are their tendencies to raise their shoulders and blow holes out of the water far higher than other whale species.

Like other baleen whales, blue whale diets consist of small crustaceans. Their typical travel speed is around 12 mph, but they sometimes get sudden energy bursts in which they shortly travel at a speed of around 30 mph! Unlike others in their species, the blue whale will be found traveling alone or with one other whale. Although the blue whale can be found in almost every ocean, they remain one of the rarest whale species. This is due to the fact that in the 20th century, around 360,000 blue whales were killed by whalers in the Antarctic alone.