A Quick Overview of Blue Whales
The blue whales classification is one of the most difficult assignments in science. These massive animals are completely mysterious, which is part of the reason that they are so dangerous. They are known from the fossils of thirty seven million years ago, when they were still thriving along the margins of the continental shelf. Although no current records exist, the whale was hunted for its meat as well as its oil. It decimated the ecosystem in the region and is only now, with oil refined and other sources of energy, that they are beginning to help repair the depleted oxygenated waters.
The blue whale is an ocean mammal, belonging to the Balaenoptera group of marine mammals. The average length of this animal is 26.5 feet and it weighs up to 200 pounds. They are the largest ever known and the second most popular mammal behind the gray whale in terms of total number of species.
Blue whales are considered to be cold water fishermen. Their primary diet is comprised of small fish, although other omnivorous fish and scavenging birds are also caught and consumed. In fact, they are not at all picky about what they eat. This helps them stay near the warm edges of their ranges, feeding on small fish and squid when they can get there. Their metabolism makes them particularly efficient hunters, able to consume a great deal of food and make very few modifications to catch it.
Like many large marine creatures, whales are covered with an fur that is called blubber. The color of this blubber varies, with the most common being white, gray or blue. The blubber protects the whales body from the harsh cold of the deep waters as well as from predators. Because of the dense fur and the insulation it provides, whales spend much of their lives in their winter dens. While in these dens they hibernate, looking like tiny fatals.
The slow movement and massive size of whales make them excellent bathers. Many of them drink water from rivers and oceans, although they prefer to drink from fresh puddles. This filtering process takes several hours and allows the waters to be replenished as needed. Because whales have no lungs, fresh air is constantly available around them.
In addition to the three basic classifications, there are several subspecies of whales. The Orca is the smallest of the present-day whales. The Humpback, Southern Residents and the Alaskan sperm whales are the largest. Whales are categorized in North Pacific, South Pacific, Alaska, Hawaii and Pacific Ocean. No matter what kind of whales you happen to be a fan of, you can be sure that there is a wide variety of whales to enjoy.