The Largest Animal on Earth, the Blue Whale
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The Largest Animal on Earth, the Blue Whale

Blue Whales are not only the largest of the whale species; they are the largest living animal in the world.

Blue Whales are not only the largest of the whale species; they are the largest living animal in the world. They come from the same family as the humpback whale and the Minke whale. Blue Whales get their name from their colour, which is shades of light and dark blue. Sadly, thanks to unscrupulous whalers, the Blue whale is almost extinct. While once they numbered over 230,000, scientists now estimate the Blue Whale population to be around 5000- 12,000.

Blue Whales are colossal in size. Their average length is about 103 feet, and they usually weigh about 180 metric tons. Their tail fins alone can reach a width of 13 feet. Blue Whales have gigantic lungs; they have a lung capacity of 5,000 litres and are able to stay underwater for about 12-16 hours.

They usually swim at speeds of about 20 kilometres an hour, but when needed can reach speeds of 50 kilometres an hour.

Despite their huge size, Blue Whales feed almost exclusively on very small shellfish called krill. Krill come from the same family as shrimp, and are about the same size. Blue whales also eat small copepods, which are a kind of zooplankton. One Blue whale can eat up to 40 million krill in a day, which calculates to approximately 150 billion krill a year.

Due to their immense size, Blue Whales have very few predators. Giant squids will sometimes attack weak young blue whales, but this is rare. Humans are by far the Blue Whales biggest threat. Before the twelfth century, blue whales could be found everywhere in the world. However, since then until today, they have been hunted unmercifully. The Blue Whale is considered an endangered animal.

All whales are very vocal, and the Blue Whale is no different. Unlike, other whales who usually live in pods, Blue Whales tend to be loners. They are usually seen either by themselves, in a mated couple, or in a family unit of three. Blue Whales only have one calf at a time. Occasionally, pods of Blue Whales are seen, but this is only temporary when they are migrating. Migrating groups can be as large as 50 whales.

Blue Whales are magnificent amazing creatures, and the world would sorely miss them if they were to go instinct. In 1996, laws were passed to protect them, but sadly they may be too little too late. Whalers ignore laws and continue to hunt them and pollution is also taking its toil. Hopefully, these beautiful whales will be around for future generations to enjoy.

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