Which Species Of Whale Is The Largest?

What does Balaenoptera musculus mean?

Other members of this family include the humpback whale, fin whale, and minke whale.

The blue whale’s scientific name is Balaenoptera musculus.

Its generic name, Balaenoptera, means “winged whale”, which refers to the blue whale’s dorsal fin.

How many blue whales are left 2018?

A 2002 report estimated there were 5,000 to 12,000 blue whales worldwide, in at least five populations. The IUCN estimates that there are probably between 10,000 and 25,000 blue whales worldwide today.

How do you identify a blue whale?

Blue Whale Identification Tips

  • Length: up to 88-108 feet (27-33 m), depending on location (blue whales are largest in the Antarctic and smaller off the U.S. West Coast)
  • Weight: up to 330,000 pounds (150,000 kg)
  • Appearance: long body with mottled gray color pattern that appears light blue when seen through the water.

Which whales are endangered?


  1. Humpback Whale: Least Concern.
  2. Orca (Killer Whale): Data Deficient.
  3. Gray Whale: Least Concern.
  4. Beluga Whale: Near Threatened.
  5. Narwhal: Near Threatened.

What is the blue whales habitat?

In the Northern Hemisphere, blue whales can be seen regularly in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and off the coasts of Monterey, California, and Baja California, Mexico. They spend the summer in polar waters, feeding on shrimplike crustaceans called krill. In the winter blue whales move toward the Equator to breed.

What does balaenoptera mean?

Balaenoptera which designates genus is a combination of two Latin words, balaena (meaning whale) and “pteron” (meaning fin). It thus means a whale having a dorsal fin so as to distinguish from balaena (meaning whale without dorsal fin). “Musculus” designating species is a Latin word originally meaning a “mouse.”

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Why is whaling illegal?

By the late 1930s more than 50,000 whales were killed annually. In 1986, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) banned commercial whaling because of the extreme depletion of most of the whale stocks. Anti-whaling countries and environmental groups oppose lifting the ban.

What is causing blue whales to be endangered?

Federally Endangered. The blue whale was driven to the brink of extinction by commercial whaling in the 1800s and early 1900s. This species was protected from commercial whaling by the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling in 1966.

What happens if whales go extinct?

Whales are at the top of the food chain and have no predators other than humans. That means that the baleen whale is a main predator while having no predators of its own. Now if the baleen whale were to become extinct or critically endangered, every animal that is linked to it and linked to that etc, will be affected.

How do you identify a whale?

An easy way to identify cetaceans to species is by looking at the shape of their dorsal fin. Porpoises have triangular dorsal fins, dolphins have curved fins, and large whales dorsal fins in all shapes and sizes (or none at all!).

Does a blue whale have a dorsal fin?

The dorsal fin has different functions in different whale species. In other species (e.g. blue and sperm whales), this fin is so small that it no longer really serves any purpose. In belugas, the dorsal fin has transformed into a dorsal crest, which allows the animals to break through thin ice to breathe.

Why do captive orcas fins flop?

All captive adult male orcas have collapsed dorsal fins, likely because they have no space in which to swim freely and are fed an unnatural diet of thawed dead fish. SeaWorld claims that this condition is common—however, in the wild, it rarely ever happens and is a sign of an injured or unhealthy orca.

Are blue whales bigger than dinosaurs?

Now paleontologists have announced a species proposed to be most massive dinosaur ever discovered: an enormous herbivore estimated at over 120 feet long and weighing over 70 tons—or longer than a blue whale and heavier than a dozen African elephants.

Can a blue whale eat a human?

They do sometimes swallow prey whole, so you could fit down their esophagus. Sperm whales sometimes swallow squid whole, so it could definitely manage a human. In fact, there’s a story of a sailor being swallowed by a sperm whale off the Falkland Islands in the early 1900s.

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How many hearts does a blue whale have?

These magnificent marine mammals rule the oceans at up to 100 feet long and upwards of 200 tons. Their tongues alone can weigh as much as an elephant. Their hearts, as much as an automobile.

What order does the blue whale belong to?

Even-toed ungulates

What do blue whales eat?

Blue whales filter their food through their baleen plates. Blue whales eat krill (euphausiids) and copepods. A blue whale can eat up to 8,000 lbs. of krill during its peak consumption period. It is estimated to take 2,200 lbs. of food to fill a blue whale’s stomach.

How does the blue whale look like?

Baleen look like long thin teeth placed very close to one another. They are used to catch small animals swimming in the water, which the whale eats. Color: Blue whales are blue-gray in color with white patches covering their body. Fins: A small triangular-shaped dorsal fin is located on the blue whale’s back.

Does Japan hunt blue whales?

During the 20th century, Japan was heavily involved in commercial whaling. Japan continued to hunt whales using the scientific research provision in the agreement, and Japanese whaling is currently conducted by the Institute of Cetacean Research.

How do humans affect blue whales?

All of the large whale species have been at risk of extinction due to a long history of whaling. Despite the ban on hunting, blue whales face a number of threats, all of which are caused by humans. These threats include entanglement in fishing gear, collisions with ships, and habitat impacts including noise pollution.

How can we protect blue whales?

Your support will help us fight to protect whales and other threatened and endangered wildlife.

  • Adopt a Whale. A symbolic adoption helps save real animals in the wild.
  • Take Action. Visit our Wildlife Action Center to send a message to government leaders.
  • Speak Up for Wildlife.
  • Stay Informed.
  • Become a Defender of Wildlife.

How do whales affect humans?

These nutrients are essential to the primary production of the marine ecosystem. Whales are sentinels of the health of marine environments. Human activities such as chemical and noise pollution, entanglement in fishing gear and ship strikes have greatly affected whale populations.

Why is whale poop important?

Whales play an important role in fertilizing the ocean, by carrying nutrients from the deeper water toward the surface, where they defecate. Meanwhile, fish and zooplankton excrete nutrients in a way that pushes them deeper into the water. While many mammals produce excrement in clumps, whale poop is more of a slurry.

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How many whales have been killed?

Commercial whaling is banned. Yet every year, Japan, Norway, and Iceland kill around 1,500 whales. Over 100,000 dolphins, small whales, and porpoises (small cetaceans) are killed in drive hunts each year.

What phylum does a killer whale belong to?

The killer whale or orca (Orcinus orca) is a toothed whale belonging to the oceanic dolphin family, of which it is the largest member.

Killer whale.

Killer whale Temporal range: Pliocene to recent PreЄ Є O S D C P T J K Pg N
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla

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Is a blue whale a carnivore?

All obligate carnivores, including cats, are hypercarnivores. The planet’s largest animal is a carnivore. The blue whale can reach 30 meters (100 feet) long and weigh as much as 180 metric tons (200 tons). It feeds by taking huge gulps of water and then filtering out tiny shrimp-like creatures called krill.

Do blue whales have predators?

Because of their size, power and speed, adult blue whales have virtually no natural ocean predators. The only sea creature known to attack blue whales is the orca whale (scientific name: Orcinus orca) also known as the “killer whale”. However, there are very few reports of orcas actually killing blue whales.

Do killer whales eat blue whales?

In drone footage captured on May 18 in Monterey, California, a group of orcas is seen carrying out a coordinated attack on a blue whale. Orcas, also known as killer whales, are known to prey on other marine mammals, including dolphins and seals. “They play with [whales] like cats play with their prey.

Do whales eat humans?

Killer whales (or orcas) are powerful predators capable of killing humans, leopard seals and great white sharks. They have also been recorded preying on usually terrestrial species such as moose swimming between islands. In the wild, there have been no fatal attacks on humans and only one reported bite.

How much water can a blue whale swallow?

After filtering out the water through special plates at the top of its mouth, the whale, which can measure up to 27 metres long, is left with about 11 kilograms of krill. For decades, researchers have speculated about how much water and food whales can fit into their mouths.

Photo in the article by “Flickr” https://www.flickr.com/photos/lakpura/15355561037

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