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Blue whale

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The blue whale is the largest animal ever known to have lived on Earth. For many years, blue whales were aggressively hunted for their blubber and oil, and their numbers were dramatically reduced. In the 1930-'31 season alone, whalers killed almost 30,000 blue whales. Blue whales gained protection after the 1965-66 whaling season. Hunting blue whales is banned nationwide by the International Whaling Commission.

Blue whales were hunted for their blubber. Blubber is a thick layer of fat under the skin which was boiled down to make blubber oil or whale oil. Blubber from an average blue whale makes between 10 and 20 tons of oil. These days oil made from the jojoba plant, a desert shrub in no danger of becoming extinct is now used as a replacement for whale oil.

Contents

[edit] Why should I be aware of this?

  • Before the onset of commercial whaling they are thought to have numbered about 250,000 in the southern oceans, with perhaps another 50,000 elsewhere.
  • Blue whales take so long to grow and reproduce that their populations may never recover from the whale hunts.
  • In places where the populations were greatly reduced, the blues may have a hard time even finding mates.

[edit] How does this affect me?

  • The blue whale is an endangered species.
  • It is almost at the top of the food chain and its disappearance cna affect the food chan in in ways we cannot imagin.
  • It is an emblem of how we humans have almost wiped out an entire species for our greed. And those who did not have an active role to play in their disappearance are guilty of inaction.

[edit] All about the blue whale

  • The blue whale is the largest mammal in the world.
  • It is the largest animal ever known to have lived on Earth.
  • Blue whales are harmless to humans.
  • Like humans, they are warm-blooded mammals that must breathe air.
  • They are highly social animals with complex languages and intelligence.
  • Blue whales have very deep voices and can vocalize at a volume of greater than 180 decibels, the loudest sound of any animal.
  • The sounds a blue whale makes can travel thousands of miles in deep water, leading to speculation that the whales may be able to communicate across oceans.

[edit] The calf

  • Calves weigh two tons (1,814 kilograms) at birth and gain about 200 pounds (91 kilograms) every day during the first year of their lives.
  • During their first 8 months they can double in length reaching an average of 15 meters (50 feet long) and they can gain as much as 90 kg (200 pounds) a day!
  • During the other 8 months of the year it apparently doesn't eat anything, living off of stored fat.

[edit] Habitat

  • The blue whale occurs mostly in cold and temperate waters.
  • They are also found in other parts of the world except polar regions.
  • They often migrate to either tropical or temperate waters during the winter so they can mate and give birth to calves*It prefers deeper ocean waters as opposed to coastal waters.

[edit] Diet

  • Its diet consists almost entirely of shrimplike crustaceans known as krill, which it eats during the summer feeding season.
  • It is a baleen whale, and feeds through a comblike strainer of some 400 plates equipped with bristles to ensnare tiny morsels of food as the whale swims.
  • An adult blue whale can eat some 4 to 8 tons (3.6 to 7.3 metric tons) of krill per day.
  • The blue whale usually feeds at depths of less than 100 m.

[edit] What can I do?

  • Contribute your time and work as a volunteer at a program dedicated to saving the blue whale.
  • Stay away from commercial fishing companies that have been known to use drift nets.
  • Buy "Dolphin safe fish." Dolphin safe means that the companies don't use drift nets.

[edit] CopperBytes

  • The largest blue whale ever recorded was 110 feet (33.6 m) long and weighed nearly 200 tons (180,000 kg).
  • The blue whale has 200-400 baleen plates on each side of its mouth.
  • Scientists think blue whales live for at least 80-90 years, possibly longer.
  • When a blue whale exhales, the spray from its blowhole can reach nearly 30 ft (9m) into the air.
  • A blue whale releases 400 gallons of sperm when it ejaculates, and only 10% makes it too its mate, leaving 360 gallons in the ocean.
  • As big as the ancient dinosaurs were they were never as big as the blue whale.
  • Some of blue whales' vocalizations have been recorded as loud as 188 decibels and can be heard as far as 530 mi/848km away. To give you an idea of just how loud 188 decibels is a commercial jet taking off makes a sound of 120 decibels.

[edit] References

  • Why are blue whales endangered?
  • Save the whales
  • Blue whale
  • Blue Whale: National geographic
  • http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/1445754.stm
  • Biggest Mammal ....BLUE WHALE
  • Blue whale highlights
  • Animal info blue whales