Category of Organisms Marine Mammals
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum/Division Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Cetacea
Family Balaenopteridae
Genus Balaenoptera
Species musculus
Binomial Name
Balaenoptera musculus
Author Linnaeus, 1758
Common Name Blue whale
Local Name  
Size Range
Size at birth : 23 feet (7 m)  
Weight : 100-120 tonnes
Environment/Habitat
Largely pelagic; rarely seen near the coast, known to follow retreating ice edge in summer
Importance/Value
 
Resilience
 
Endemic No
Found in Marine Park No
Found in Malaysia Yes
Distribution
All oceans; frequents low-latitude warm waters (winter), high latitude waters (summer).
Morphology/Character
This huge, streamlined, slender whale has a broad, flat, U-shaped head and a single prominent median ridge. A small dorsal fin is located about three-quarters of the way along the back. The flippers are pointed and slender, with pale undersides, and the flukes are large and notched. Paired nostrils are located on top of the head with prominent fleshy mounds.

The front part of the mouth is thick with baleen plates; around 300 plates (each around one metre (3.2 ft) long) hang from the upper jaw, running 0.5 m (1.6 ft) back into the mouth. Between 60 and 90 grooves (called ventral pleats) run along the throat parallel to the body. These plates assist with evacuating water from the mouth after lunge feeding.

True to their name, blue whales are an overall bluish gray, although they can appear mottled and blotched. In polar waters, a browny yellow diatomaceous bloom can cover the skin.

Blue Whales most commonly live alone or with one other individual. It is not known whether those that travel in pairs stay together over long periods or form more loose relationships. In locations where there is a high concentration of food, as many as 50 Blue Whales have been seen scattered over a small area. However, they do not form the large close-knit groups seen in other baleen species.
Biology
Blue whale’s diet consists mainly of krill, as well as small fish and squid.

Females typically give birth once every two to three years. Gestation period is about 11 months. Males are sexually mature at about 74 feet (22.6 m), females at 79 feet (24 m). It is not a gregarious whale; mating is probably a temporary arrangement. A single young is born in warm temperate and subtropical waters.
Miscellaneaous
 
Status in IUCN Red List Endangered (EN)
Status in CITES Species Database I
Researcher(s)  
Reference(s)
RALF KIEFNER, WHALES & DOLPHINS CETACEAN WORLD GUIDE, PUBLISHED BY IKAN, Page: 52-54
Other Link(s)
Collection Record