The Blue Whale is the largest mammal to have ever graced this planet, yet so little is known about their day to day lives. The many years of extensive whaling reduced a healthy worldwide population of 300,000 Blue Whales down to as little as 2,000 individuals. The Blue whale has been protected since 1966 and although recovery of population numbers is slow, there are promising signs ahead for the endangered Australian Blue Whales. The best way to protect these magnificent whales is to learn more about them, so lets begin with some Blue Whale Facts!
Largest Animal On Earth
The Blue Whale is the largest animal to have ever existed on planet earth, how fortunate are we to have them still alive today! The reason behind why they are larger than any dinosaur is simply due to them living in a marine environment. Although dinosaurs reached similar lengths they were certainly not able to match the weight of a Blue Whale. The Blue Whale also has the benefit of having a lot of room to live in as water takes up 70% of the earths surface with most of this accounted for by the ocean. Plenty of space, less gravity and bountiful food sources allowed the gigantic Blue Whales to reach their full potential and become the largest animal we have ever known.
Blue Whales Really Are Blue
One of our favourite moments when watching Blue Whales out in the Perth Canyon is the turquoise blue that grows stronger and larger as the whales return to the surface to breath. The perfect example is below as you can see with one of our guests suitably dressed in the appropriate colours for their tour! The blue glow of these whales is how they coined their name and is one of the most beautiful sights on the planet. The big surprise is when they break the surface and their mottled grey skin appears. The large size of the Blue Whale and reflective light creates this unique iridescent turquoise blue demonstrating why these beautiful whales are called Blue Whales even though they are grey.
The Worlds Largest Grey Nomads
The Blue Whales of the world have no specific home that they live all year in, they spend their time constantly on the move towards their next feeding ground. These epic journeys take them many thousands of kilometres and from one ocean to another. The preferred feeding grounds are reached at different times of the year depending on when the krill densities are at their peak and no energy is ever wasted on unprofitable feeding grounds. Travel is a vital part of the life of a Blue Whale and during their lifetime they can achieve a distance which would take them to the moon and back again.
Biggest Babies Ever Known
The title of the worlds largest baby certainly belongs to the newborn Blue Whale calf. One of our favourite Blue Whale facts is that at birth a Blue Whale calf will be approximately eight meters long and five tonnes in weight. Gestation for a female Blue Whale is 11 to 12 months and the calf will be born tail first to avoid drowning. Newborn Blue Whales are also believed to be born in warmer waters where nursery grounds for these baby giants can be found as they are born with almost no blubber and would be easily affected by cold waters. Drinking the equivalent of 1,300 glasses of their mothers rich milk everyday (which is 40-50% fat) allows for the most incredible daily weight gain of 90 kilograms, that is around 4 kilograms per hour!