How big is a Blue Whale?
The blue whale may be the largest animal ever to inhabit the earth. It may have reached lengths of up to 31 meters (100 feet)--roughly the length of a basketball court. Blue whales have weighed up to 146 metric tonnes (160 tons). They feed on small shrimp-like crustaceans. The whales consume up to eight tons of animals a day during their feeding period. The loudest sound ever recorded from an animal was produced by a blue whale, and some scientists have speculated that they may be able to remain in touch with each other over hundreds of miles. The number of blue whales in the southern hemisphere was severely depleted by whaling. Due to commercial whaling the size of the population is less than ten percent of what it was originally.
The blue whale filters tiny planktonic shrimp from the ocean surface through a comb like structure in its mouth called baleen. Although they are the largest members of the animal kingdom, blue whales survive on some of the tiniest members of the animal kingdom.