The Majesty of Blue Whales

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10 Questions

Which of the following is the primary reason why blue whales are the largest animals to have ever existed?

Their marine habitat provides more room to grow

What is the maximum loudness of blue whales' calls?

188 decibels

How can a blue whale's age be estimated?

By measuring the layers of earwax in its ear canal

What is the average lifespan of a blue whale?

80 to 90 years

What is the primary food source for blue whales?

Tiny crustaceans called krill

What is whale baleen made of?

Keratin

What was the primary reason for the near extermination of blue whales?

Whaling for commercial purposes

What is the maximum amount of food a blue whale can eat in a day?

Four tons

What is the purpose of the earwax in a blue whale's ear canal?

To protect the ear canal and help carry sound waves

What allowed baleen to become an ideal material for fashion in the 19th century?

Its composition of keratin

Study Notes

Blue Whale Characteristics

  • Blue whales are the largest animals to have ever existed primarily because of their efficient feeding mechanism.
  • Blue whales can produce calls with a maximum loudness of up to 188 decibels.

Aging and Lifespan

  • A blue whale's age can be estimated by analyzing the wax plug in its ear canal, which accumulates layers of earwax over time.

Diet and Feeding

  • The primary food source for blue whales is krill, specifically small crustaceans.
  • Blue whales can consume up to 40 million krill in a single day.

Baleen Characteristics

  • Whale baleen is made of keratin, the same protein that makes up human hair and nails.
  • In the 19th century, baleen became an ideal material for fashion due to its flexibility, lightweight, and strength properties, leading to overhunting of whales.

Conservation

  • The primary reason for the near extermination of blue whales was overhunting, primarily for their baleen and oil.

Anatomy

  • The wax plug in a blue whale's ear canal serves as a repository of chemical information about the whale's life history, allowing researchers to estimate the whale's age.

Test your knowledge about the incredible size and habitat of blue whales, the largest animals to have ever existed. Discover how their marine environment contributes to their exceptional size and why gravity plays a role in limiting the size of land animals. Challenge yourself with intriguing facts about these magnificent creatures!

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