The mechanism behind modern whale migration is debated. , Molecular evidence places blue whales in the Superorder Cetartiodactyla, which includes the Orders Cetacea (under which blue whales are classified) and Artiodactyla, even-toed ungulates. She wears a pair of glasses and has a hairpin shaped like the Japari Park logo combined with an anchor. Its speed reaches 6.7mph when hunting but slows down when it opens its mouth.  However, this putative subspecies is the subject of an unresolved debate, with many suggesting they are pygmy blue whales, given that their song type is heard considerably south of the equator, that the description in Blyth is insufficient to distinguish them from pygmy blue whales, that they are of similar size to pygmy blue whales (e.g. The anatomy of a blue whale is quite particular: the lower mandible of its jaw can dislocate to open to almost 90°, and the floor of its accordion-like mouth can stretch up to quadruple its normal size. , The average length of sexually mature female blue whales is 72.1 ft (22.1 m) for Eastern North Pacific blue whales, 79 ft (24.1 m) for central and western North Pacific blue whales, 92 ft (28.1 m) for North Atlantic blue whales, 83.4–86.3 ft (25.4–26.6 m) for Antarctic blue whales, 77.1 ft (23.5 m) for Chilean blue whales, and 69.9 ft (21.3 m) for pygmy blue whales.  The estimate of pygmy blue whale off New Zealand from mark-recapture data is 718 (95% CI=279-1926, SD=433).  Acoustic recordings in the Eastern Tropical Pacific may be year-round but generally peak in June and are infrequently detected from September to March.  The most recent analysis estimates that the Balaenopteridae family diverged from other families in the late Miocene, between 10.48 and 4.98 million years ago. When startled or threatened these marine mammals can reach speeds in excess of 30 mph for short bursts, however in most cases they manage an average speed of 3 – 12 mph.  They also produce short, 1–4 s duration, frequency-modulated calls ranging in frequency between 80 and 38 Hz. The tongue of the blue whale is as big as an elephant. 7. The characteristics of specific call types vary with respect to fundamental frequency, bandwidth, and duration, among others. Tongue is the size of an elephant. Blue whales may accidentally eat small fish that happen to be in the swarms of krill (although this is rare). Along the whale’s throat are long grooves. The blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) is a marine mammal belonging to the baleen whale suborder Mysticeti. The reported take of all North Pacific blue whales by commercial whalers totaled 9,773 between 1905 and 1977.. The blue whale can grow up to 30 m (98 ft) long – around the same as a Boeing 737.  Blue whale song types were initially divided into nine song types, although ongoing research suggests at least 13 song types. , Pygmy subspecies (B. m. brevicauda) – Madagascar population: This population is found off the Seychelles and Amirante Islands, through the Mozambique Channel to the Crozet Islands and Prince Edward Islands in the spring and summer, with a nearly continuous distribution in sub-Antarctic waters in the Indian Ocean in the summer.  Prior to the development of ear plugs as an ageing method, layers in baleen plates were used, but these wear down and are not a reliable measure. Wouldn't this specimen be an exceptional giant? in the waters off Chile. Reproduction. It was previously thought that blue whales in the North Pacific belonged to at least five separate populations; however, evidence from movement data derived from satellite tags, photograph-identification, and acoustic data supports two populations in the North Pacific—the Eastern and Central and Western North Pacific populations, with divisions according to acoustic calls being estimated by Monnahan et al..  The global blue whale population abundance is estimated to be 10,000–25,000 blue whales, roughly 3–11% of the population size estimated in 1911.  Evidence includes a breeding season asynchronous with Southern Hemisphere blue whales, a distinct Sri Lanka call type, a slightly smaller total length at maturity, and potential year-round residency.  The largest heart weight measured from a stranded North Atlantic blue whale was 0.1985 tons (397 lb), the largest known in any animal..  Migration may function to reduce parasitism, pathogens, and competition, provide greater access to prey in the spring and summer, reduce calf predation from orcas, and optimize thermoregulation for growth in the winter. Bryde`s Whale Humpback whale lunge feeding (Megaptera novaeangliae), Alaska, S. Humpback whale scoops up fish while lunge feeding with his mouth wide open as water rushes in Open mouth dolphin. These allow the whale to expand its throat and gulp up to 90 tonnes (99 tons) of water when feeding. Her front bangs gradient from gray to white, while the back hair becomes a shimmering blue color that mimics the sea. Aside from cleaning krill from the plates in its mouth, the blue whale tongue weighs about as much as an elephant, or a daily car. Because the two animals are often feeding together, it makes sense that a … What is the blue whale? By comparison the average blue whale penis is nearly 3 times the size of that of a sei whale. It was hunted almost to the point of extinction by whaling until the International Whaling Commission banned all hunting of blue whales in 1967. You and 400 of your friends could fit in its mouth. In addition, the ovaries of female blue whales form a permanent record of the number of ovulations (or perhaps pregnancies), in the form of corpora albicantia. Mounted blue whale skeletons can be found prominently, in the entrance hall to the Natural History Museum (London, UK); the Seymour Marine Discovery Center at Long Marine Laboratory at the University of California, Santa Cruz (California); the Melbourne Museum (Australia); Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History (California); New Bedford Whaling Museum (Massachusetts); North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh, NC); Iziko South African Museum (Cape Town, South Africa); Canadian Museum of Nature (Ottawa); Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto, Canada); Beaty Biodiversity Museum at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada); Zoological Museum of the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (St. Petersburg, Russia); Iceland Husavik Museum (Húsavík, Iceland), the Museum of South-East Sulawesi (Kendari, Indonesia), the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (Wellington, New Zealand) and the Marine Science Museum at Tokai University (Tokyo, Japan). The longest blue whale ever recorded was a 108-foot adult female caught during whaling efforts in Antarctica! Whales, in accordance with their body size, have huge digestive systems, containing a number of stomach chambers which, in the case of the blue whale, combined can hold up to one ton of food. , The pygmy blue whale subspecies, B. m. brevicauda, has three populations corresponding with acoustic populations, including a Madagascar population, Eastern Australia/New Zealand population, and Western Australia/Indonesia population. In the North Pacific, blue whales can be seen in large numbers in Monterey Bay, CA from July through October. It beats just four to eight times a minute – the Slowest heart rate for a mammal, 6: The tail flukes are 7.6 m (25 ft) wide – nearly as long as a London double-decker bus. The last sighting of Blue whales was in the San Salvador channel, off Puerto Egas, Santiago Island.Long and slender, the Blue Whales body can be various shades of bluish-grey. The Western Australian Museum's Blue Whale.  One hypothesis is that as blue whale populations recover from whaling, this is increasing sexual selection pressure (i.e., lower frequency indicates larger body size), although given the difficulties in measuring length from living whales, there is little evidence for changes in body size since whaling ended.  Antarctic blue whale calls have been acoustically detected in the Eastern Tropical Pacific in May–September. As it swims, this whale gulps water, straining it through its mouth. A blue whale can eat around 4 tons (3.5 metric tons) of krill in a day. The Göteborg Natural History Museum (Sweden) contains the only taxidermized blue whale in the world, a 52 ft (16 m) juvenile killed after stranding alive in 1865, with its skeleton mounted beside the mount. Whales, in accordance with their body size, have huge digestive systems, containing a number of stomach chambers which, in the case of the blue whale… - A baby blue whale is about the size of 2 minivans. • When feeding, blue whales take in enormous quantity of krill-infested water in their mouth.  The most recent estimate is between 1,000–2,000 off the east coast of Greenland, Denmark Strait, Iceland, Jan Mayen, Faroe Islands, west coast of Ireland, and north of the United Kingdom. Blue whales are also called Baleen whales due to the way their mouth has evolved to feed on Krill. In the United States, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service suggests that while whale watching, be alert and avoid disturbing whales from changing their normal behaviors and stay at least 100 yards (the length of a football field) away from a whale. It has the word “Whale” in its name purely because of its size.  Blue-fin hybrids have also been detected from genetic analysis of whale meat samples taken from Japanese markets.. This helps the blue whale to devour both krill and the surrounding water. There are four subspecies of blue whale, recognized by the Society for Marine Mammalogy’s Committee on Taxonomy: Some of these blue whale subspecies have been further divided, resulting in nine recognized management units:, There are three populations in the Northern subspecies B. m. musculus.  They can consume 34,776–1,912,680 kJ (~480,000 kilocalories) from one mouthful of krill, which can provide up to 240 times more energy than used in a single lunge. Imagine a creature the size of 2 1/2 school buses laid end-to-end and you'll get a sense of the size of the blue whale. This catches the krill, but also causes their mouths to fill with seawater, which is undesirable. Blue whales were initially tough to hunt because of their size and speed. Reaching a maximum confirmed length of 29.9 meters (98 feet) and weight of 173 tonnes (190 tons), it is the largest animal known to have ever existed. This allows them to acquire the energy necessary for sustaining basic metabolic maintenance costs while storing additional energy necessary for migration and reproduction. How to set or break a Guinness World Records title. , Chilean population In summer and fall, Chilean blue whales feed along the west coast of South America, particularly the Chiloense Ecoregion, including the Corcovado Gulf, Pacific and northwest coasts of Chiloé Island, and inner sea of Chiloe Archipelago. The blue whale was once hunted for whale oil. At the top of her head is a blowhole, with two fins protruding outward either side of it. The blue whale stranded on the beach at the mouth … While the throats of baleen whales (such as the blue whale and humpback whale) is too small to swallow a person there is a chance that a person could end up caught in giant whales mouth. The blue whale is the Largest animal ever, some specimens weighing in at a colossal 200 tonnes (440,000 lb), although 100–150 tonnes (200,000–300,000 lb) is the average. Its blowholes are contained in a large, raised "splash guard", and the blow is tall and straight and over 20 feet (6 meters) high. Tardigrades: are these the world’s toughest animals?  Like the Madagascar population, this population’s distribution remains north of 52°S.  Blue whale anatomy, specifically a small testis-to-body weight ratio and documented visual observations of a second male joining the traveling pair, suggest a polygynous, antagonistic male-male competition strategy. When the whale finds a big cloud of krill to eat, it plunges right through the middle of the cloud, mouth wide open. The blue whale isn’t truly blue in terms of color; it’s actually a grayish blue coloring that appears deep blue only after the whale dives under the water.  This monophyletic clade is nested in Cetartiodactyla, which includes the even-toed ungulates. Adult blue whales can be as long as 30m long, while baby blue whales are of only 7m long. Its heart is the size of a Volkswagen Beetle and pumps 10.7 tons (9,700 kg) of blood throughout the massive body in vessels so large that a human could crawl through the aorta.  There is a 6–8 month weaning period until the calf is 53 ft (16 m) in length.. The amount of milk transferred from mother to calf has not been measured. , Few reliable estimates exist for population status of pygmy blue whales. A blue whale can eat around 3.5 tonnes (4 tons) of krill in a day.  Large-scale takes did not begin until 1864, when the Norwegian Svend Foyn invented the exploding harpoon gun and by using them with steam and diesel-powered ships.  Blue whales have been recorded making 180° rolls during lunge-feeding, allowing them to engulf krill patches while inverted; and they rolled while searching for prey between lunges, which has been hypothesized as allowing them to visually process the prey field to find the densest prey patches.  estimated 671 (279–1613) pygmy blue whales from a line-transect survey of a small area off the southern coast of Australia. Blue whale vocalizations are among the loudest and lowest frequency sounds made by any animal. , For Antarctic blue whales, a single calf is born at 23 ft (7 m) in length and weighs 2.8-3 tons (2540–2722 kg).  The correlation between song types and genetic subdivisions is unknown, but song types are currently used as the primary method of separating blue whale populations because they are stable in shape over multiple decades for each region. What makes a Guinness World Records title? The Blue Whale has baleen plates measuring an average length of 3.5 feet (equivalent to one metre) and the Fin Whale’s is about 2.25 feet (or 0.68 metres) in length. That would translate to 2.79 ± 0.86 mph (4.5 ± 1.39 km/h), ranging from 1.5–4.45 mph (2.42–7.17 km/h). Blue Whale Calves Are 25 Feet Long When Born CoreyFord / Getty Images Blue whales give birth to a single calf, every 2-3 years after a gestation period of 10-11 months. A foraging whale lunges into a swarm of these shrimp-like animals, accelerating to high speed with its mouth open at a right angle.  For Antarctic blue whales, for example, some remain year-round in the Antarctic, some remain year-round in northerly grounds, and most disperse throughout the Southern Hemisphere in the austral winter months. The animal from which great whites flee: 5 killer records held by orcas. They may also be seen off San Diego, CA in July and August, and off Baja California Sur, Mexico and in the Sea of Cortez from January through March. Currently, there are approximately 10,000-25,000 blue whales in the world’s oceans, representing only 3-11% of the original population size.  In the western North Atlantic, there were an estimated 1,100–1,500 prior to modern whaling, and in the eastern North Atlantic, estimates range from a “few thousand” to 10,000 blue whales in the Denmark Strait and 2,500 from northern Norway.  The first video of a calf thought to be nursing was filmed in New Zealand in 2016.  Acoustic data suggests that some individuals may remain on their feeding grounds year-round..  The maximum age determined from earplug laminae for a pygmy whale is 73 years (n=1133). , Blue whales are rorquals, in the family Balaenopteridae whose extant members include the fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus), sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis), Bryde’s whale (Balaenoptera brydei), Eden's whale (Balaenoptera edeni), common minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), Antarctic minke whale (Balaenoptera bonaerensis), Omura's whale (Balaenoptera omurai), and humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae).  The International Whaling Commission catch database estimates that 382,595 blue whales were caught between 1868 and 1978, including 7,973 in the North Pacific (2.09%), 10,442 in the North Atlantic (2.73%), 5,383 in the South Pacific (1.41%), and in the Southern Ocean, 13,022 pygmy blue whales (3.40%) and 345,775 Antarctic blue whales (90.40%). , Blue whales exhibit no well-defined social structure other than mother-calf bonds from birth until weaning. They are also listed on Appendix I under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals. It was the first example of any cetacean hybridization giving rise to a fertile offspring. Best suggest a minimum abundance of 424 (CV=0.42) pygmy blue whales on the Madagascar Plateau, or 472 (CV=0.48). The whale makes on Bristled Chomp against all creatures it has grappled in its mouth. The Northern Indian Ocean subspecies, B. m. indica  is found from Somalia to southern Arabia to the southwest coast of India, and off the coasts of Sri Lanka and the Maldives, with an apparent breeding season six months out of phase from pygmy blue whales. Kato et al. It would become one of the State’s most beloved treasures. 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with a Synopsis of the Species", "Mitochondrial phylogenetics and evolution of mysticete whales", "Baleen whale phylogeny and a past extensive radiation event revealed by SINE insertion analysis", "Baleen boom and bust: A synthesis of mysticete phylogeny, diversity and disparity", "Whole-genome sequencing of the blue whale and other rorquals finds signatures for introgressive gene flow", "Rise of the titans: baleen whales became giants earlier than thought", "Low genetic diversity in pygmy blue whales is due to climate-induced diversification rather than anthropogenic impacts", "Phylogenetic relationships among cetartiodactyls based on insertions of short and long interspersed elements: hippopotamuses are the closest extant relatives of whales", "Early Miocene hippopotamids (Cetartiodactyla) constrain the phylogenetic and spatiotemporal settings of hippopotamid origin", "Phylogenetic relationships of artiodactyls and cetaceans as deduced from the comparison of cytochrome b and 12S rRNA mitochondrial sequences", "Spatial and temporal occurrence of blue whales off the U. S. West Coast, with implications for management", "Estimating historical eastern North Pacific blue whale catches using spatial calling patterns", "Caza de ballenas - Defensa de los océanos", "Do ship strikes threaten the recovery of endangered eastern North Pacific blue whales?  Herman Melville called the blue whale "sulphur bottom" in his novel Moby Dick due to the accumulation of diatoms creating a yellowish appearance on their pale underside. , 3. Instead, it has baleen — 300 to 400 fringed plates, up to 3 feet (1 m) long, that hang from its upper jaw. Molecular analyses revealed a blue whale mother and a fin whale father. Closed population models for the same feeding grounds in 2012 estimate 762 (95% CI=638–933) and 570 (95% CI=475–705) for photographs of left and right sides of the animals, respectively.. Additionally, only one blue whale call type has been recorded in the Southern Ocean, and mark-recapture data suggests movements of individuals entirely around the Antarctic. A 2010 study estimated that when feeding, a blue whale's mouth opens so wide, and is so large, that another blue whale could swim into it. Its heart is the same size as a small car! The name ‘blue whale’ was derived from the Norwegian ‘blåhval’, coined by Svend Foyn shortly after he had perfected the harpoon gun. The fundamental frequency for blue whale vocalizations ranges from 8 to 25 Hz. You and 400 of your friends could fit in its mouth.  Whole genome sequencing of blue whales and other rorqual species suggests that blue whales are most closely related to sei whales with grey whales as a sister group, which is curious given the most common hybrids are with fin whales. , Their pale underside can accumulate a yellowish diatom coat, which historically earned them the nickname sulphur bottom. The third population, the western North Atlantic population, is the only population currently recognized in the North Atlantic. Blue whales were protected in areas of the Southern Hemisphere starting in 1939. When they find them, they open their great jaws, allowing their pleated throats to fill up like sails.  A and B calls are often produced in repeated co-occurring sequences as song only by males, suggesting a reproductive function.  Pygmy blue whales typically remain north of 52°S, except on rare occasions, e.g. Closeup portrait of Beluga whale with an open mouth, White whale Beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) with an open mouth in the blue water An Orca orcinus orca, leaps near a small cruise ship in the Inside Passage of British Columbia near the mouth of Princess Louisa Inlet. The blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) is a marine mammal belonging to the baleen whale suborder Mysticeti. Blue whale, (Balaenoptera musculus), also called sulfur-bottom whale, the most massive animal ever to have lived, a species of baleen whale that weighs approximately 150 tons and may attain a length of more than 30 metres (98 feet). Between 1868 and 1978, 382,595 blue whales were recorded slain. ", "Baleen whales are not important as prey for killer whales (, "Killer Whales Bully Lone Blue Whale in Rare Video", "Killer Whales Attacked a Blue Whale—Here's the Surprising Reason Why", "Orcas hunt blue whale in bloody battle of the sea", "Spatial association between hotspots of baleen whales and demographic patterns of Antarctic krill, "Part 17 – Conservation of Endangered Species and Other Fish or Wildlife (First List of Endangered Foreign Fish and Wildlife as Appendix A)", "The Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 As Amended", "Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals", NOAA Fisheries, Office of Protected Resources, Blue whale video clips and news from the BBC – BBC Wildlife Finder, Voices in the Sea – Sounds of the Blue Whale, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Blue_whale&oldid=991739532, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, contextual information transmission (for example feeding, alarm, courtship), maintenance of social organization (for example contact calls between females and males), This page was last edited on 1 December 2020, at 15:57.
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