Hi, hi! It's me, Sasha! Thursday is blog day, and today I'm going to be sharing some fun facts about Blue Whales with you. Aren't whales the most magnification creatures? I have mermaid friends in the ocean, and they've told me so much about these giants of the sea. If you've been fortunate enough to see a Blue Whale before, please share your experiences with Rose and me - we'd love to hear about it!
Rose wrote a series of books with animal characters and human friends. In each story a different animal compares their teeth to their human friend's teeth. The series is called 'What Are Your Teeth Like?' and you can find all of these books here on her website. Of course, I was inspired to write today's blog because of her book 'The Boy and the Big Blue Whale.'
And so, here are some fun facts about Blue Whales!
1 - Blue Whales are the largest of all mammals. They are so large, in fact, that their tongue alone can weigh as much as an elephant, and their heart as much as a small car.
2 - Blue Whales do not have teeth. Instead, they have rows of bristles attached to as many as three to four-hundred plates at the entrance to their mouth, which serve as a filter. One would think they only eat fish, but they do not! They eat plankton and krill which are filtered through their 'baleen' mouths, and they do so by taking in a mouthful of plankton/krill-filled water then pushing the water out through their baleen filter, to be left with only the food inside their mouth.
3 - Blue Whales also happen to be the loudest of all the mammals, and their calls can be heard by one another from as far as 1600km away. Go on, take a listen to their calls on Wikipedia!
4 - Blue Whales never really sleep! Instead, they are able to make use of one side of their brain at a time, which means that while they rest the one half the other is still alert. So, they actually are awake while they sleep. And to make sure they don't drift too far, they sleep facing upward with their tail to the ocean floor and their head to the surface.
5 - Although Blue Whales spend their life in the ocean like fish do, they are mammals and therefore need oxygen to breathe. This is why they come to the surface so often. When they dive deep for plankton and krill, they can reach depths of up to five-hundred meters.
6 - Did you know that the Blue Whale is actually classified as a Carnivore? That's right - krill is considered meat in their case!
7 - Blue Whales have a lifespan of between eighty and ninety years, but they have been known to live to as old as one-hundred-years-old.
8 - Sadly these magnificent creatures are declining in numbers. Although they are considered Endangered, in some parts of the world they are still hunted or referred to as an 'accidental catch', meaning the hunters 'thought' the Blue Whale was actually a 'Minke' or 'Fin' whale.
9 - Whales are very emotional creatures and will stay with their families for most of their lives. They have been known to even approach humans for help if they've gotten into trouble, like being tangled in a net. Watch this video below - you'll quickly understand how emotional and wonderful whales are.
10 - If you live anywhere near the American Museum of Natural History, you'll be able to see this life-sized hanging Blue Whale and get a true feeling of what it must be like to be near one in the ocean - just like the young boy from Rose's book!
Well, I do hope you've learned a little more about Blue Whales through today's blog. I've had so much fun creating it for you - it's a pleasure! I definitely have to put 'swimming with a Blue Whale' on my bucket list, although I'd probably just hover above the whale... because I'm a fairy... and I can't wet my wings... you know.
I know you'll agree when I say neither whales nor dolphins should ever be hunted, not to make products for humans or for human entertainment. If you want to get involved in helping whales and cetaceans around the world, take a look at a website called Whale and Dolphin Conservation; they'll only be happy to hear from you!
Until next week, keep shining,
The Boy and the Big Blue Whale