Blue Whale Fact Sheet

Common Name:

Blue Whale

Scientific Name:

Balaenoptera musculus

Wild Status:








Life Span:

80 years


100 feet long, up to 200 tons

Cool Facts:

The blue whale is one of the fastest of all whales, with documented speeds of up to 31 miles per hour.   A newborn blue whale calf weighs about as much as an adult hippo.   Blue whales communicate over long distances using low frequency vocalizations known as whale song. These calls are among the loudest in the animal kingdom at over 180 decibels, which is comparable to a jet engine taking off.   Over the course of a single day, a blue whale may consume up to four tons of krill.


At up to 100 feet in length and 200 tons, the blue whale is the largest animal to ever exist. Despite its immense size, it feeds on some of the smallest organisms in the ocean. A filter feeder, it uses baleen plates in its mouth to filter krill out of the water column. Blue whales can be found throughout the oceans of the world and are closely related to fin, minke, and humpback whales. Unlike may other cetaceans, blue whales do not often travel in large groups and are usually seen alone or in pairs.

Taxonomic Breakdown:

Kingdom - Animalia Phylum - Chordata Class - Mammalia Order - Artiodactyla Family - Balaneopteridae Genus - Balaenoptera Species - B. musculus

Conservation & Helping:

The blue whale is classified as endangered.

For Teachers and Educators


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