Monday, 16 September 2013


This is part  a series of marine ecology articles aimed at  teens and produced as a set of the most often asked questions together with answers.

Q: How big is the biggest whale?

A: The Blue Whale is a truly awesome animal! It is not only the largest whale (up to 33.5 m long) but also the largest animal to have ever lived on earth. It is much bigger than the giant dinosaurs or huge fish that lived millions of years ago. It is no surprise then that Blue Whale facts are just as impressive. 

If a Blue Whale poked its tongue out at you, it would be hard to miss. A Blue Whale’s tongue weighs about 2.7 tonnes.

Its mouth is large enough to hold up to 90 tonnes of food and water. That is as big as the biggest room in most houses. 


Q: How big is a Blue Whales heart?

A: The Blue Whale’s heart weighs about 600 kg but may be as much as 900 kg in the largest individuals. That is about the weight of a small car.  

When blood leaves the heart, it travels through an artery called the aorta. The Blue Whale’s aorta is about 23 cm in diameter and has an output similar to a fire hydrant.

Everything about the Blue Whale is big. Even its penis is about 2.4 m in length. 

Q: What does a baby Blue Whale eat?

A: A Blue Whale calf drinks about 400 litres of mother’s milk each day. The rich, high-energy milk is about 50% fats. Because the calf can not suck without swallowing seawater, the mother is able to squirt milk from its nipple into its baby’s mouth. 

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