The blue whale is the largest creature on earth. Its weight, in rare cases, reaches 200 tons and a length of 33 meters. The average length is 23-29 meters. This is truly a huge animal, just a giant. Previously, its range was from the Antarctic to the Arctic. Whaling almost exterminated the blue whale. Today it is listed in the International Red Book and the Red Book of Russia.
The blue whale has an elongated, slender bluish-gray, flat on the side, a body with gray spots of different sizes and shapes. The back and sides are of a light color, lighter than the general tone. And the head and jaw are dark in color. The head has an angle of 45 °, wide from above. The pectoral fins have a narrow, pointed and long shape. Caudal fin wide, with pointed edges. The blue whale has about 60 submandibular throat folds.
Blue whales swim in 2 or 3 individuals, and sometimes alone. Trying not to swim to the shores. Several groups can gather in places of accumulation of plankton. The speed of the blue whale is 9-13 km / h. If the whale is scared or runs away, it develops a speed of 25 km / h, and releases small fountains every 30 seconds.
A blue whale dives for 10-12 minutes, if the condition is calm. After a long and deep dive, it first appears on the surface of the spiracle, on the crown of the head. A small dorsal fin is visible when the front of the whale is already under water. After the fountain, the whale arches its back. Blue whale, the caudal fin usually does not show, but strongly exposes the caudal peduncle in a semicircle
After extermination, the whale can be found already in a smaller area. So the range of blue whale is now as follows: the Bering and Chukchi Seas, the area of the Commander, Aleutian Islands, as well as the Kuril Ridge. It also swims into the northwestern part of the Pacific Ocean and the Anadyr Bay.
Whales are extremely hardy. It can be in motion for many days without a single stop. But despite the power, they need the constant help of a person to survive.
During a day, a blue whale eats about 1 ton of krill (about 1 million calories), which it mainly feeds on. A whale swallows krill, along with thousands of liters of water, floating through its accumulations, and then filters it by pushing all this mass out with its tongue through a whalebone. By the way, the language of the blue whale weighs more than an elephant, and the thickness is more than 3 meters.
In nature, there are three main subspecies of this species of whales - Southern, Northern and Dwarf, and also distinguish the African subspecies.
Whale skin is not completely blue. It is gray with a slight blue tint. But, if you look at the whale from above, when it is under a small layer of water, the effect is created that his body glows with blue light. Thanks to this, he got his name - Blue Whale.
On the skin there is a beautiful patterned pattern, which are unique (like human fingerprints), which enables scientists to distinguish one representative of this species from another.
Unlike other whales, the Blue whale is an excellent swimmer. Its speed of movement under water can reach up to 55 km. per hour, and the usual speed of movement is about 10 km. in. Most likely, it is precisely because of this that his skin does not overgrow with crustacean parasites, which live in large numbers on the bodies of other cetaceans.
Scientists have found that the Blue Whale, unlike other whales, continues to feed in the winter.
Under favorable conditions, able to live about 100 years.
Despite the fact that scientists are actively researching the study of this giant, the Blue Whale remains one of the least studied inhabitants of our planet.
Blue whales live in half of the planet’s ocean basin. They can be found off the coast of Australia, New Zealand, USA, China, Russia and many other island and mainland states and countries. Most of the time, whales spend at depths, but being mammals (like all types of whales) they need to rise to the surface from time to time to fill their lungs with air, to saturate the body with oxygen.
Like all cetaceans, the Blue Whale eats krill (small crustaceans). Thanks to the pleated surface inside the mouth, it can swallow up to a hundred tons of water with these small creatures. After that, he simply lies in the water (like a giant tadpole) filtering water through a whalebone. Filtered krill is swallowed, after which the whale takes its previous shape. But do not regard the whale as a thoughtless vacuum cleaner sucking water, it is a sensitive dexterous predator. After all, it only at first glance seems that krill does nothing and is just waiting for it to be eaten. In fact, every animal in a cluster of krill desperately does not want to be eaten and is able to quickly enough to escape from pursuit.
Until now, it is absolutely not known how whales track and find their prey on vast ocean expanses.
It is only known that they communicate with each other using ultrasonic waves and are able to hear each other at a distance of up to 30 kilometers.
No one has ever seen Blue whales mate or the moment a kitten of this species was born. Filming one of these processes will be a worldwide sensation.
But, nevertheless, there are some successes in this research area. It has been established that in Blue Whale females, predominantly one cub is born. The birth of a new kitten occurs approximately once every two years, and the gestation period lasts 12 months.
Childbirth occurs in the vicinity of the water surface, and the cub is born with the tail forward. The weight of a kitten at birth is from 2 to 3 tons, and is about eight meters long.
Scientists believe that due to the small number of its species, Blue whales can mate with representatives of other species of whales. There have already been cases when people have met similar hybrids, but this phenomenon has not yet been completely studied.
It is also not fully understood whether Blue Whales create couples for life, as some representatives of marine mammals eat, but the fact is noted that they can hunt together and protect each other from predators.
The only enemy of Blue Whale in nature is the killer cetacean dolphins - killer whales. These bloodthirsty predators prey on everyone without exception and they are not at all confused by the gigantic size of the Blue Whale. They attack him in a flock of up to 20-30 individuals, drive them to a depth and do not allow them to rise to the surface in order to inhale another portion of air. In the end, the whale loses its strength and dies.
These gourmets eat only tasty and nutritious whale tongue, and the rest of the carcass is of no interest to them.
Another scary enemy of the Blue Whale is of course man. For centuries, people hunted him considering it a valuable prey.
In 1965, whaling was banned, but by this time most of the Blue Whale stock had already been destroyed.
Nowadays, with the strong development of shipping, more and more sea trade routes began to lie in the habitats of these beautiful creatures. There are frequent cases when adults died from a collision with large bulk carriers or giant cruise liners, and their cubs died under the screws of all kinds of smaller ships. Also, the oceanic expanses of our time are littered with all kinds of household waste, and the noise of the propellers of all kinds of ships and boats clogs the sound broadcast, preventing the whales from communicating with each other. All this adversely affects the global population of blue whales.
To date, the Blue Whale is listed in the Red Book and is considered an endangered species.