Subject: Blue Whale

Lindsay J Porter (h9390327@hkucc.hku.hk)
Wed, 3 Dec 1997 12:57:02 +0800

>I am doing a research project in school on the blue whale. I need to
>find out what the food chain/food web is for the blue whale. Can you
>suggest where I might find that information, please.  I have tried
>search engines on the internet, but am not having any luck.
>

Hallo there,
I found several sites on teh internet on Blue Whales - some of which had
links to other Blue Whale information.  I send teh addresses and have copied
relevant food text from the two most informative sites I found - I hope that
this is of use in your project

Best wishes

Lindsay 

http://whales.magna.com.au/home.html
GENERAL SITE
http://whales.magna.com.au/DISCOVER/BLUE/index.html     BLUE WHALE INFO DIRECT

>The Blue whale is, and always has been, the largest animal ever to exist on
earth. This whale can grow to a
>     length of 33m (110ft) and weigh 190 tonnes but on the average it is
much smaller. The Blue whale is called a
>     "rorqual" a Norwegian word for "furrow" and refers to the pleated
grooves running from its chin to its navel. The
>     throat grooves, in addition to streamlining the shape of the whale,
allow the throat area (cavum vent-rale) to
>     expand tremendously during feeding, and can hold 1,000 tons or more of
food and water when fully expanded.
>     By taking tonnes of water into its mouth and filtering out the fish or
krill with its baleen plates a medium-sized
>     Blue whale can eat over 4 tons of krill a day.
>
>The head of the Blue whale forms up to a quarter of the total body length
and compared with other rorquals is
>     very broad. It has twin blowholes with exceptionally large fleshy
splashguards to the front and sides. The baleen
>     plates in the mouth of the Blue whale can be 90cm-1m (35-39in) in
length the longest of all the rorquals but not
>     the longest of all whales.
>
>     Subfamily Balaenopterinae.
>
>     There are 3 different subspecies:
>
>     balaenoptera musculus - Northern Hemisphere
>     balaenoptera intermedia - Southern Hemisphere
>     balaenoptera brevicauda - Tropical Southern Hemisphere
>
>     Other Names: Sulphur-bottom, Sibbald's Rorqual, Great Northern Rorqual
>
>     Most Blue whales live in the Southern Hemisphere while smaller
populations inhabit the North Atlantic and
>     North Pacific. They migrate long distances between low latitude winter
mating grounds and high latitude summer
>     feeding grounds and are often seen in parts of California, Gulf of
California (Sea of Cortez), Gulf of St.
>     Lawrence, Canada and the northern Indian Ocean.
>
>     Before mans intervention there were 228,000 Blue whales swimming the
oceans of the world. Between 1904
>     and 1978, whalers scoured the seas for this huge cetacean, most were
taken in the southern hemisphere, many
>     against the law. Current figures suggest that a mere 11,700 animals
are left. As the population figure suggests, it
>     was ruthlessly and relentlessly slaughtered for every reason
imaginable, almost to the point of extinction. Now on
>     the endangered list, the Blue Whale is protected (since 1967)
worldwide by international law. It is not to be
>     hunted by anyone for any reason at all. Suggestion are that some
populations may never recover.
>
THIS SITE DISCYUSSES ALL MEMBERS OF THE ORDER CETACEA, THIS IS ETH COMPLETE
ADDRESS FOR BLUE WHALES 
http://www.oit.itd.umich.edu/bio/doc.cgi/Chordata/Mammalia/Cetacea/Balaenopt
eridae/Balaenoptera_musculus.ftl#nathist

>Food Habits
>
>     The diet of the blue whale is principally krill. In southern waters
the main species eaten is Euphausia superba, a small
>     (<7 cm) planktonic crustacean that is tremendously abundant. In
northern waters the main species are Thysanoessa
>     inermis and Meganyctiphanes norvegica, though other planktonic species
and small fish are also eaten. Adult whales
>     can ingest 3-4 tons of krill per day. 

OTHER LINKS CAN BE FOUND IN BOTH OF THESE SITES
email h9390327@hkucc.hku.hk
Dolphin Research Group
The Swire Institute of Marine Science
The University of Hong Kong
Cape d'Aguilar
Hong Kong
website: http://www.webdivers.co.uk/dolphin/index.html