Blue Whales - Larger Than The Biggest Dinosaurs

Published: 19th August 2009
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Blue Whales are magnificent creatures. If you are looking for adventure, one of the best places to view them from a boat out of Southern California. Whale watching trips depart regularly from San Diego, Los Angeles, Oxnard, Ventura and Santa Barbara.

Blue Whales are the biggest animals that have ever lived on the face of the earth " far bigger than the largest dinosaurs. They have been weighed up to 180 tons which is 20,000 pounds heavier than a DC-10. The largest elephants only weigh a bit over five tons. Blue Whales have been measured by scientists up to 100 feet long, although today the largest average around 75 - 80 feet. They have been measured at more than 110 feet - compare that to the longest dinosaur skeleton of less than 90 feet from tail to nose.

The Guinness book of world records claims that the heartbeat of a Blue Whale can be heard for 19 miles " thats totally untrue; nobody can hear the heartbeat of a Blue Whale from 10 feet, let alone 19 miles.

Interestingly, one of the smallest seabirds on earth, Cassins Auklet, and the Blue Whale, the largest animal ever to have lived on earth, both subsist primarily on the same prey: krill. Blue Whales are baleen whales. Instead of teeth, they have a series of flexible plates called baleen that they use to strain up to four tons of these tiny shrimp like crustaceans from the ocean each day.

Blue Whales have been known to interbreed occasionally with the second largest animal on earth, the Fin Whale. Four of these hybrids have been scientifically documented by DNA analysis.

Blue Whales are thought to be solitary or perhaps associate with one other individual. It is not known whether Blue Whale pairs stay together over long periods of time. Where there are high concentrations of food as many as 50 Blue Whales have seen in one area, although this is exceptional because they do not normally form the large close-knit groups seen in other baleen whale species.

Blue Whales are very strong swimmers and usually travel at 12 miles per hour. When they are excited they have been clocked at 30 miles per hour!

Blue Whales populate seas all around the world. The warm waters off California and Mexico are home to one quarter of the worlds entire population during the spring and summer when these areas have a good food supply.

Blue Whales can be found in every ocean on earth, but experts still don't know where they breed or give birth. They are known to frequent feeding grounds in tropical, moderate and cold polar oceans, and it is suspected that they give birth in warmer climates.

In the 1800's there were hundreds of thousands of Blue Whales all over the world. Then man developed weapons such as guns and exploding harpoons an proceeded to nearly eliminate these wonderful animals in the early twentieth century. Blue Whales were hunted mercilessly for 40 years until they were nearly extinct. Protection began in 1966 and their population is slowly recovering with perhaps 6,000 to 8,000 Blue Whales left worldwide today.

Author Terry Hunefeld retired three years ago explore the Pacific Ocean and observe pelagic seabirds and marine mammals. He and his wife Ann own the Inn At Moonlight Beach just up the road from Del Mar and San Diego. For more information visit: Solana Beach B&B or Hotels in Carlsbad.

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