blue whale

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blue whale,

a baleen whalewhale,
aquatic mammal of the order Cetacea, found in all oceans of the world. Members of this order vary greatly in size and include the largest animals that have ever lived. Cetaceans never leave the water, even to give birth.
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, Balaenoptera musculus. Also called the sulphur-bottom whale and Sibbald's rorqual, it is the largest animal that has ever lived. Blue whales have been known to reach a length of 100 ft (30.5 m) and to weigh up to 200 tons (180 metric tons), but the typical size is about 70–90 ft (21–27 m) and 100–150 tons (90–135 metric tons). The blue whale is slate blue in color and has a dorsal fin. It is toothless and has fringed baleen, or whalebone, plates in its mouth, which act as a food strainer. As water is expelled from the whale's mouth, plankton is trapped behind the strainer. The neck of the blue whale has 80 to 100 conspicuous furrows called ventral grooves, which alternately expand and contract as the animal takes in and expels water. The blue whale is cosmopolitan in distribution. In summer it inhabits polar seas, feeding in the water of melting icepacks; in winter it migrates to warmer latitudes, occasionally reaching the equator. Mating occurs at the end of winter, with a single calf born every second or third year, after a gestation period of 10 to 11 months. The calf is nursed for 6 months and reaches puberty in about 3 years. Blue whales may live 100 years or more. Because of extensive whalingwhaling,
the hunting of whales for the oil that can be rendered from their flesh, for meat, and for baleen (whalebone). Historically, whale oil was economically the most important. Early Whaling

Whaling for subsistence dates to prehistoric times.
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, their numbers have been reduced from an estimated 400,000 to between 10,000 and 25,000, and they are listed as endangered. In 2014 the California population, which ranges along W North America, was determined by researchers to have recovered to sustainable levels. They are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Cetacea, family Balaenopteridae.


See G. C. Small, The Blue Whale (1971).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

blue whale

the largest mammal: a widely distributed bluish-grey whalebone whale, Sibbaldus (or Balaenoptera) musculus, closely related and similar to the rorquals: family Balaenopteridae
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Upon investigation, police found 'Blue Whale' symbols on his social media accounts and established that he was following a task in the 'Blue Whale' game and while doing it, he committed suicide.
Whales have not been known to harm humans, especially the mammoth blue whales. Often found alone or in small numbers there is no instance ever recorded of a blue whale deliberately killing or severely injuring a human being.
'A giant blue whale was spotted along with its baby off Churna Island, Balochistan, last year.
Every spring, the largest animals in the world, blue whales, migrate from their winter breeding grounds off of Costa Rica to the coast of the Pacific Northwest of the United States.
While the "Blue Whale Challenge" lost ( popularity in the U.S., a 13 year-old-girl from Adana, Turkey, shot herself dead in January this year after being influenced by the challenge.
"Blue whales are an iconic predator in the California Current as they migrate its entirety every year searching for krill, and support multiple tourism industries," says Hazen.
It is similar to Blue Whale challenge and it starts by sending mysterious messages to victims'.
The challenges, which vary from cutting one's lip to carving the shape of a blue whale on one's arm, encourage participants to gradually succumb to the administrator's requests, ending in tragedy, as has been reported worldwide.
The minister of environment, Khaled Fahmy, said that the appearance of the blue whale in the Red Sea is "abnormal" and the last typhoon, which hit Oman this month, brought various "fishes" to Egypt's coasts, including the blue whale.
Summary: The UAE's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority said it has been following reports of the Blue Whale game since 2016
The TRA has called on the public to report any apps, groups or websites that are similar to Blue Whale game.- Alamy Image
In September, a gigantic mother blue whale and her calf were sighted off Churna Island.