Blue Whale Handy Facts

Family: Balaenopteridae

Genus: Balaenoptera

Species: musculus


Photo credit: Paul Hodda

  • Blue whales are the largest animal, mammal and marine species ever to live on earth!
  • The maximum length recorded for a female was 33.5m which is as long as a Boeing 737.
  • The maximum adlult weight recorded is 190 tons (equivalent to approx. 19 African elephants)
  • The life span of a blue whale can reach up to 90 years or more
  • The blue whale belongs to the rorqual group of baleen whales (which includes Minke, Bryde’s, Humpback, Sei and Fin Whales)
  • The newborn blues are approximately 7 – 8m long and 2.5 – 4 tonnes in weight.
  • Calves grow 90.7 kg/day and increase in size by 30 times in their 1st year of life
  • Blue whales feed by gulping large quantities of krill.  Estimates suggest that a blue whale weighing around 80 tons needs approx. 2 – 3 tons of food a day which equates to millions of krill (Nyctiphanes australis) in one day.
  • They feed in cool upwelled waters off southern Australia in summer and migrate to warm tropical waters during winter to breed.
  • They make the loudest sound of any animal which has been detected more than 1000km away.
  • The blue whale is capable of diving up to 500m in depth when feeding.
  • Their Baleen plates can be up to 1m in length.
  • Sadly they are listed as Endangered by the Commonwealth Government of Australia.