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blue whale

OLogy Series
animal
card
205

blue whale

OLogy Series
animal

The blue whale is the largest animal ever to have lived on Earth. It's even bigger than the enormous dinosaurs that lived over 65 million years ago! Blue whales migrate long distances, traveling alone or in small groups called pods. These colossal creatures breed in warm southern waters during the winter and feed in polar seas during the spring and summer.

Blue whales are in the same class of animals as:

sharks

humans

jellyfish

Are you right?

Correct!

Blue whales, like humans, are mammals. Like all mammals, they are warm-blooded, give birth to live young, nurse their babies with milk, and breathe air through lungs.

A baby blue whale is called a:

cub

chick

calf

Are you right?

Correct!

A baby blue whale is called a calf. When they're born, calves are about 23 feet long and weigh over 5,000 pounds. That's one big baby!

Because of the blue whale's enormous size, it is a ferocious predator that preys on large fish to survive.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fiction

Despite their enormous size, blue whales eat mostly tiny, shrimp-like organisms called krill. Of course, it takes about 40 million krill a day to satisfy a blue whale!

Blue whales are the loudest animals on Earth -- louder than a jet engine.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fact

Blue whales are actually the loudest animals on Earth. Their calls can be heard for miles.

Scientific name: Balaenoptera musculus
Size: 80 feet long Weight: 120 tons
Habitat: near the surface of all oceans
Diet: tiny, shrimp-like organisms called krill
Characteristics: blue-gray skin with light spots on sides and back, small dorsal fin, long, thin flippers
Significance: endangered because of overfishing
Cool fact: whales must surface to breathe through their blowholes, spouting water up to 30 ft

Image credits: courtesy of Mike Johnson.