Blue Whale Information
Blue Whale (home) Origins of Blue Whales Blue Whale Diet Site Map

General Description of the Blue Whale

     Welcome to the Blue Whale information website. This site is dedicated to knowledge and conservation of the Blue whale, which is the largest & loudest animal that ever lived on planet Earth. These enormous mammals eat tiny organisms, like plankton and krill, which they sieve through baleen, the filters that are in place of their teeth. They live in small groups called 'pods.'

     Instead of a single blowhole like Killer whales and Dophins, blue whales have 2 blowholes on top, and a 2-14 inch (5-30 cm) thick layer of blubber to keep them warm. (Depending on the time of year.) The blue whale's skin is usually blue-gray with white-gray spots. The underbelly has brown, yellow, or gray specks. During the winter in cold waters, diatoms, a microscopic, single-celled algae, stick to the underbelly, giving it a yellow to silver- to sulfur-colored sheen; they are sometimes called "sulfur bottom."

     They have a very small, falcate (sickle-shaped) dorsal fin that is located near the tail. Blue whales have long, thin pectoral flippers 8 feet long (2.4 m) and flukes (the tail fins) that are about 25 feet (7.6 m) wide.

     Blue whales are found throughout the world's oceans. They are rorqual whales, which means whales that have pleated throat grooves that allow their throat to expand during the huge intake of water during filter feeding. Blue whales have 50-70 throat grooves that run from the throat to mid-body, so that when they take in seawater & Krill to filter out, they have a large capacity that helps them gather a full stomach in a short amount of time. Below is a picture of a blue whale feeding, with its' throat expanded & filtering out the water.

Blue Whale Pic

Blue whales are an overall blue-gray color, mottled with light gray. Cold water diatoms, a microscopic, single-celled algae, adhere to their skin and sometimes give their bellies a yellowish tinge, that has earned the blue whale its nickname of "sulfur bottom." Blue whales are long and streamlined. Their dorsal fins are extremely small, and their pectoral flippers (the two big ones on the sides) are long and thin.

Blue Whale Chart

Please click one of the menu selections to the top and left to continue.