Blue Whales are the largest animals on planet Earth. They can weigh up to 200 tons and grow to be the length of a basketball court about 98 ft. Their tongue alone weighs about 2 tons. If left alone in the oceans they can live up to 90 years. Blue Whales tend to live alone or with one other whale however if there is a high concentration of food there can be as many as 50 Blue Whales scattered over a small area. The first published description of the Blue whale comes from Robert Sibbald's "Phalainologia Nova" in 1694 after he found one washed up on a beach in 1692. They were also mentioned in Melville's famous novel, Moby Dick.

Sadly these wonderful creatures were almost hunted to extinction mainly for their blubber. Blue Whales were abundant in nearly all the oceans on Earth until the beginning of the twentieth century. At one time it was estimated that in just the Antarctic waters there were around 239,000 Blue whales. Then for over a century, these magnificent animals were hunted almost to extinction by whalers. In 1966 they were protected by the international community and they were put on the Endangered Species List. They have now made a comeback since then and it is estimated that there are around 10,000 Blue Whales worldwide.

Blue Whales love to feed on Krill which is a small shrimp like creature that thrives in really cold water. For the last several years the water in the Pacific ocean has been unusually cold and this has cause the Krill to multiply greatly. The upside to lot's of Krill is that it is drawing in lot's of Blue Whales for excited whale watchers on the California southern coast to view. The whales tend to feed there from May until early autumn. Recently in September there have been lot's of wonderful sightings of these beautiful creatures. This year alone there have been up to 500 sightings of them. They are very graceful whales who are also friendly and curious and kayakers have been able to paddle right up to these whales. The biggest threat these days for the whales is getting in the way of ocean liners since they are feeding in the path of these huge ships.

Although it cannot be said that the Blue whale is thriving, since they have been protected internationally they definitely have a fighting chance to live out their natural lives. Maybe someday they will swim again in the numbers of their long ago past.


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