What makes the blue whale incredible?

Can you imagine a creature longer than three buses, heavier than 33 elephants, with blood vessels so gigantic that you could swim around in them, a heart as big as a car and a tongue as heavy as a pick-up truck? This creature has the unique distinction of being the largest animal EVER to have lived on Earth. Meet the blue whale.

This blue-grey leviathan weighs a whopping 130,000 kg and can grow over 33 m long! It has a long, streamlined body, powerful tail, small dorsal fin and yellowish underside, giving it the nickname ‘sulphur bottom’ whale. Considering its enormous size, one would imagine it to be a top predator with brutal, fearsome teeth to shred its victims, but the blue whale is a gentle giant that feeds mainly on tiny shrimp-like crustaceans called krill.

The blue whale is also called baleen whale because it has unique fibrous plates called ‘baleen’ plates instead of teeth in its mouth. While eating, the blue whale gulps a huge amount of water into its mouth and then expels it back out through these baleen plates which act like hairy nets that capture the krill within. It can eat up to 4000 kilograms of krill every day!

Interestingly the blue whale is not only the largest animal on Earth but also the loudest! Its call may be heard for hundreds of kilometres around!

Sadly, this powerful, yet peaceful creature has been hunted almost to extinction.

Picture Credit : Google 

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