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What is the largest whale in the world

The ocean is home to a large number of impressive marine animals of different sizes. From the smallest, such as krill, which curiously is the main food of some of the largest species, to the huge whales that can reach up to 30 meters in length and 150 tons in weight.

These huge and intelligent creatures are comparable in size to the most gigantic animals that have ever existed on our planet, such as some dinosaurs. If you want to discover which is the largest whale in the world , keep reading this AgroCorrn article and we will present it to you.

You may also be interested: Where the whale lives and what it eats
  1. Whale characteristics
  2. What is the largest whale in the world – here is the answer
  3. The blue whale is in danger of extinction

Whale characteristics

Whales are large cetaceans that inhabit all the world’s oceans. There are two large subdivisions to classify them: most are baleen whales or mysticetes , whose baleen filters the water to retain food and have two nostrils or spiracles, and a few whales are toothed or odontocetes , carnivorous and with a single blowhole.

Related to dolphins and porpoises, these mammals adapted to aquatic life communicate with each other with a wide variety of sounds, including songs by males during the breeding season. Also, echolocation allows them to locate dangers, other animals and maintain contact with each other hundreds or even a thousand kilometers away.

Some of the largest species of whales or fin whales in the world include:

  • The Greenland whale ( Balaena mysticetus ): with a length of up to 20 meters and an average weight of 74 tons.
  • The sperm whale ( Physeter macrocephalus ): which can measure up to 20 meters and weigh more than 50 tons.
  • The right whale (Eubalaena australis ) , up to 18 meters and 100 tons.
  • The fin whale ( Balaenoptera physalus ), with up to 27 meters long and an average weight of 74 tons.

However, the whale that wins the award for “the largest in the world” is the blue whale Balaenoptera musculus ) , which can reach up to 30 meters in length and up to 200 tons in weight. With these dimensions, this huge species is not only the largest animal in the ocean, but in the entire world today and of all animals recorded by humans throughout history, including dinosaurs.

For more information about these animals, you can consult this other article on Where the whale lives and what it eats .

What is the largest whale in the world – here is the answer

As we have already indicated, the largest whale in the world is the blue whale, it belongs to the group of baleen whales and inhabits, mainly, the Atlantic and Pacific oceans , although in the past they could be seen in all the oceans of the planet. This extraordinary colossus usually makes migrations to tropical waters in winter, during the reproduction period, and to polar waters in summer to feed.

Most of these mammals now average 23 to 27 meters long and weigh between 100 and 120 tons. The head of these whales is wide and triangular and they have a long body that, together with the large fins, allows them to move quickly and with agility, being able to reach speeds of more than 30km / h . As for its color, it stands out for looking bluish gray, with specks and being somewhat lighter in the belly area.

The body parts of a blue whale are, according to their overall size, huge. Your aortic vein is 23 cm in diameter; their beards reach up to 1 meter in length; your heart weighs as much as a car, about 600 kg; and its tongue about 2.7 tons, or what is the same, like an elephant.

From its behavior it stands out that it is a solitary animal . It is common to observe a mother with her calf, but they are not usually seen in large groups. These “little” babies are born after a gestation period of between 10 and 12 months, measuring around 7 meters and weighing around 3 tons. In a single day, these calves consume approximately 150 liters of mother’s milk and gain 90 kg in weight, until they reach 8 months of age, at the time of weaning.

As adults, these animals dive for up to 20 minutes to feed mainly on krill , a type of animal plankton made up of small crustaceans that can eat up to 40 million specimens in a day. Except for some attacks by sharks or killer whales, the only potential predator of this species is humans. However, in the wild, these whales can live between 80 and 90 years , which also makes them one of the longest-lived species on the planet.

The blue whale is in danger of extinction

Like many other species of fin whales, the largest whale on Earth is another animal that sneaks into the worrying list of endangered species , and some particular populations, such as the Antarctic blue whale, are listed as endangered. critical. Hunting is the main cause of the state that this species suffers, although it also affects pollution and collisions with boats.

Around 250,000 specimens were counted in the 19th century, but in 1966 the figure dropped alarmingly to 400 specimens. Fortunately, the conservation law implemented since then has managed to gradually increase the number of specimens, reaching 5,000 to 15,000 blue whales today, according to the IUCN Red List. However, efforts to protect the species remain essential to save the animal that holds the record for size in the entire planet.

Find out more about why the blue whale is in danger of extinction in this other AgroCorrn article.

If you want to read more articles similar to What is the largest whale in the world , we recommend that you enter our Wild Animals category .

Maria Anderson

Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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