• The 1903 BLUE WHALE
  • 1 adult blue whale
  • Blue Whale Full Body Photo

Newfoundland Blue Whale—Exhibited at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, 1904

The blue whale is louder than a jet, which reaches only 140 decibels!

The blue whale's skin is usually blue-gray with white-gray spots.

These gray-blue whales have 2 blowholes and a 2-14 inch (5-30 cm) thick layer of blubber.
Scientists were only just beginning to capture some of the first underwater footage of whales. Jacques-Yves Cousteau, on board his ship Calypso (a specially outfitted research vessel that was originally a minesweeper in the British Royal Navy during World War II), filmed fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) swimming underwater. The footage was included in his 1956 French documentary film “Le monde du silence,” or “The Silent World.” Fin whales and blue whales are similar in body shape and both belong to a group of whales known as rorquals (baleen whales). The Smithsonian used this footage to inform their design of the new model.

I got out recently with and we saw a few blue whales.

Blue whales have 50-70 throat grooves that run from the throat to mid-body.
The life expectancy of blue whales is particularly difficult to estimate, it is certainly beyond 25 years and has been estimated as from 30 to 80 years with suggestions of as much as 100 years.

 

Blue whales live individually or in very small pods (groups).

Blue whales grow to be about 80 feet (25 m) long on average, weighing about 120 tons (109 tonnes).
Blue whale, adult and juvenile (likely mother and calf), swimming together side by side underwater in the open ocean.
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Blue whales have long, thin flippers 8 feet long (2.4 m) and flukes that are 25 feet (7.6 m) wide.
An enormous blue whale is stretched out at the surface, resting, breathing and slowly swimming, during a break between feeding dives. Open ocean offshore of San Diego.
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Blue whale, blowhole open.Image ID: Species: ,

An enormous blue whale swims in front of whale watchers on a private yacht. Only a small portion of the whale, which dwarfs the boat and may be 70 feet or more in length, can be seen. Open ocean offshore of San Diego.
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Blue whale fluke, Baja California (Mexico).Image ID: Species: ,

Blue whales are most easily identified by their huge size, tall blows (up to 30 feet high), blue/gray mottled skin color, and typically rounded (falcate) dorsal fin. Skin pigment patterns along the dorsal ridge, near the dorsal fin, are photographed by scientists in order to identify individual whales. The tips of a blue whale’s fluke are rather pointed, and the trailing edge of the fluke is usually smooth and straight with a median notch. Blue whales are closely related to fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus), which are also huge, but the body of a blue whale is mottled and lighter in color and its dorsal fin is not as tall and pronounced as that of the fin whale. Also, the right lip and baleen plate of the fin whale is light colored and the underside of its body is white. (Blue and fin whales are thought to occasionally interbreed (Calambokidis)). Seen from a distance, blue whales resting or swimming just below the surface appear to be large sandbars.

Blue whales reach maturity at 10-15 years.

An enormous blue whale rounds out (hunches up its back) before diving. Note the distinctive mottled skin pattern and small, falcate dorsal fin. Open ocean offshore of San Diego.
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Blue whales have a life expectancy of 35-40 years.

The splashguard of this approaching blue whale pushes water aside so that it can open its blowholes (which are just behind the splashguard) to breathe. Open ocean offshore of San Diego.
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