27 The flippers are 34 metres (9.813.1 ft) long. The upper sides are grey with a thin white border; the lower sides are white. The head and tail fluke are generally uniformly grey. The whale's upper parts, and sometimes the flippers, are usually mottled. The degree of mottling varies substantially from individual to individual. Some may have a uniform slate-grey color, but others demonstrate a considerable variation of dark blues, greys and blacks, all tightly mottled. 5 Blue whales can reach speeds of 50 kilometres per hour (31 mph) over short bursts, usually when interacting with other whales, but 20 kilometres per hour (12 mph) is a more typical traveling speed.
Island of the Blue dolphins, chapters 1-4
Between 70 and 118 grooves (called ventral pleats) run along the throat parallel to the body length. These mandela pleats assist with evacuating water from the mouth after lunge feeding (see feeding below). The dorsal fin is small; 27 its height averages about 28 centimetres (11 in earthquake and usually ranges between 20 and 40 cm (7.9 and.7 in though it can be as small as 8 cm (3.1 in) or as large as 70 cm (28 in). 28 It is visible only briefly during the dive sequence. Located around three-quarters of the way along the length of the body, it varies in shape from one individual to another; some only have a barely perceptible lump, but others may have prominent and falcate (sickle-shaped) dorsals. When surfacing to breathe, the blue whale raises its shoulder and blowhole out of the water to a greater extent than other large whales, such as the fin or sei whales. Observers can use this trait to differentiate between species at sea. Some blue whales in the north Atlantic and North Pacific raise their tail fluke when diving. When breathing, the whale emits a vertical single-column spout, typically 9 metres (30 ft) high, but reaching up to 12 metres (39 ft). Its lung capacity is 5,000 litres (1,300 US gal). Blue whales have twin blowholes shielded by a large splashguard.
Indica, the great Indian rorqual, which is also found in the Indian Ocean and, although described earlier, may be the same subspecies. 1 The pygmy blue whale formed from a founder group of Antarctic blue whales about 20,000 years ago, around the last Glacial Maximum. This is likely because blue whales were driven north by expanding ice, and some have stayed there ever since. The pygmy blue whale's evolutionarily recent origins cause it to have a relatively low genetic diversity. 26 Description A blue whale lifting its tail flukes Adult blue whale The blue whale has a long tapering body that appears stretched in comparison with the stockier build of other whales. 27 The head is flat, u -shaped and has a prominent ridge running from the blowhole to the top of the upper lip. 27 The front part of the mouth is thick with baleen plates; around 300 plates, each around one metre (3.3 feet) long, 27 hang from the upper jaw, running.5 m (20 in) back into the mouth.
These names have now fallen into disuse. The first known usage of the term "blue whale" was in Melville's Moby-dick, which only mentions it in passing and does not specifically attribute it to the species in question. The name was really derived from the norwegian blåhval, coined by svend foyn shortly after he had perfected the harpoon gun; the norwegian scientist. Sars adopted it as the norwegian common name in 1874. 8 Authorities classify the species into three or four subspecies:. Musculus, the northern blue whale consisting of the north slip Atlantic and North Pacific populations,. Intermedia, the southern blue whale of the southern Ocean,. Brevicauda, the pygmy blue whale found in the Indian Ocean role and south Pacific, 25 and the more problematic.
18 Researchers working off Fiji believe they photographed a hybrid humpback -blue whale 19 including the discovery through dna analysis from a meat sample found in a japanese market. 20 21 The first published description of the blue whale comes from Robert Sibbald 's Phalainologia nova (1694). In September 1692, sibbald found a blue whale that had stranded in the firth of Forth a male 24 m (78 ft) long that had "black, horny plates" and "two large apertures approaching a pyramid in shape". 8 The specific name musculus is Latin and could mean "muscle but it can also be interpreted as "little mouse". 22 Carl Linnaeus, who named the species in his seminal Systema naturae of 1758, 23 would have known this and may have intended the ironic double meaning. 24 Herman Melville called this species "sulphur-bottom" in his novel Moby-dick (1851) due to an orange-brown or yellow tinge on the underparts from diatom films on the skin. Other common names for the blue whale have included "Sibbald's rorqual" (after Sibbald, who first described the species the "great blue whale" and the "great northern rorqual".
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There are two more groups in the north Atlantic, and at least two in the southern Hemisphere. As of 2014, the eastern North Pacific blue whale population had rebounded to nearly its pre-hunting population. 13 Balaenoptera musculus Contents Taxonomy see also: evolution of cetaceans Blue whales are rorquals (family balaenopteridae a family that includes the humpback whale, the fin whale, bryde's whale, the sei whale, and the minke whale. 5 The family balaenopteridae is believed to have diverged from the other families of the suborder Mysticeti as long ago as the middle Oligocene (28 ma ago). The blue whale lineage diverged from the other rorquals during the miocene, between.5 and.5 million years ago. However, gene flow between the species appears to have continued beyond that date.
The blue whale has the greatest genetic diversity of any baleen whale, and a higher than average diversity among mammals. 14 The blue whale is usually classified as one of eight species in the genus Balaenoptera ; one authority places it in a separate monotypic genus, sibbaldus, 15 but this is not accepted elsewhere. 1 dna sequencing analysis indicates trainer that the blue whale is phylogenetically closer to the sei whale ( Balaenoptera borealis ) and Bryde's whale ( Balaenoptera brydei ) than to other Balaenoptera species, and closer to the humpback whale ( Megaptera ) and the gray whale. 16 17 There have been at least 11 documented cases of blue whale- fin whale hybrid adults www in the wild. Arnason and Gullberg describe the genetic distance between a blue and a fin as about the same as that between a human and a gorilla.
5, at up to 30 metres (98 ft) 6 in length and with a maximum recorded weight of 173 tonnes (190 short tons 6 it is the largest animal known to have ever existed. Long and slender, the blue whale's body can be various shades of bluish-grey dorsally and somewhat lighter underneath. 9, there are at least three distinct subspecies :. Musculus of the north Atlantic and North Pacific,. Intermedia of the, southern Ocean and,. Brevicauda (also known as the pygmy blue whale ) found in the Indian Ocean and south Pacific Ocean.
Indica, found in the Indian Ocean, may be another subspecies. As with other baleen whales, its diet consists almost exclusively of small crustaceans known as krill. 10 Blue whales were abundant in nearly all the oceans on Earth until the beginning of the twentieth century. For over a century, they were hunted almost to extinction by whalers until protected by the international community in 1966. A 2002 report estimated there were 5,000 to 12,000 blue whales worldwide, 6 in at least five groups. The iucn estimates that there are probably between 10,000 and 25,000 blue whales worldwide today. 11 Before whaling, the largest population was in the Antarctic, numbering approximately 239,000 (range 202,000 to 311,000). 12 There remain only much smaller (around 2,000) concentrations in each of the eastern North Pacific, Antarctic, and Indian Ocean groups.
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