ePostcard #164: Eavesdropping on Blue Whales
Photo Credit: Courtesy of photographer Mike Johnson and the Australian Antarctic Program.
EAVESDROPPING ON BLUE WHALES
Blue whales are the largest animals ever to live on our planet. Adult blues may reach 110 feet in length and weigh up to 330,000 pounds. They feed almost exclusively on krill, straining huge volumes of ocean water through their baleen plates (which hang from the roof of the mouth and work like a sieve). Some of the largest adult blues will eat up to 6 tons of krill a day. There are currently five recognized subspecies of blue whales, and these extraordinary marine mammals are found in all oceans except the Arctic Ocean. They are classified as globally Endangered throughout their range. Their lifespan is estimated at around 80 to 90 years, and blue whales face many threats, including entanglement in fishing gear, ocean noise, and vessel strikes.
Video Credit: Australian Antarctic Division (2022), Brian Miller, Alex Vail, Chris Clarke, Peter Mamsen, Nick Storr, and Mike Johnson.
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