Subject: Re: Blue Whales

Kim Marshall (kimm@oceanalliance.org)
Tue, 18 May 1999 16:15:05 -0400 (EDT)

>Questions:
Hi, My Name is Trevor and I am in 2nd grade.  I am doing a animal
>project and I chose the blue whale.  I have a couple of questions, that
>I hope you can answer.

Answers:

1)  Can you tell me how does the blue whale protect its self?
Blue whales are protected from other animals because they are the largest
mammals on earth and there is nothing that alive that can threaten them.
It is actually the largest animal to ever have lived on this earth, even
bigger than the largest recorded dinosaur.  Adults can grow up to 100 feet
long and weigh 100 tons.
>
2)  How long does a Blue Whale usually live?
Scientists believe that large whales like the blue whale may live over
sixty years, possibly 100 years or more!

>3)  When it dies does it go to a certain place?
Many people believe that when they die, just like people and pets, their
spirits go to heaven but their bodies become part of the ocean.

>4)  Does it have any enemies?
Because they are so big they do not have many natural enemies but sometime
killer whales might try to attack baby blue whales.  Man-made ships and
weapons might also harm whales if they get in the way.

>5)  Does it usually stay in one place its whole life?
Blue whales travel the oceans all the time only staying in one area long
enough to eat or have babies.  Even then we do not know much about their
lives.

>6)  Are they friendly to humans?
It seems that all whales are friendly to humans but in the case of any wild
animal, if you threaten it or act like you might hurt their babies they
will protect themselves and their babies in any way they can including
causing harm.

>7)  Are there any in captivity?
>No there are not as they are much too large.

Blue whale facts:
 Blue whales are 6 times bigger than the biggest brontosaurs
 Blue whales can weigh as much as 24 full grown elephants
The skeleton of a blue whale can weight more than 50,000 pounds
The largest animal on earth eats one of the smallest. A blue whale is about
100 million times larger than krill
The  largest recorded blue whale was 110 ft, 160 tons
 Blue whales have hearts the size of a Volkswagen Bug
A five year old could crawl through an artery of a blue whale
The heart of a blue whale could weigh 4 thousand pounds (2 tons) and could
pump about 60 gallons with each beat.  The heart valves could be the size
of a hubcap
A child could crawl through aorta (largest blood vessel leaving the heart)
A mother blue whale can produce up to 750 pints of milk per day (94
gallons, 2-fifty gallon drums full of heavy cream)
Blue whales can eat 1.5-3 tons of food per day during feeding intervals -
equivalent to 8000 hamburgers
The lungs if a blue whale can hold more air than a small bedroom bedroom
A baby blue whale can drink 2.5 gallons of milk up to 50 times a day.  A
blue whale calf can gain 250 pounds each day

Good luck with your project!!! Thank you, Kim

Kim Marshall-Tilas
Whale Conservation Institute/Ocean Alliance
191 Weston Road
Lincoln, MA  01773
(781) 259-0423
fax: 259-0288
website: http://www.oceanalliance.org