The Blue Whale – largest mammal on the Planet
The Blue whale is the largest mammal that ever lived on the planet. The main attraction in the natural history section of the museum is a model of a full size Blue whale hanging from the ceiling.
The Blue whales were hunted almost to extinction during the years of commercial whaling. In 1968 an estimated 200 individuals were left in the Southern Ocean.
Latin name: Balaenoptera musculus
Size: Maximum 30 metres, weight up to 120 tons
Identification: Baleen whale. Bluish colour. Distinctive spout.
Reproduction: A calf born every 2nd year
Distribution: All oceans from the tropics to polar regions. Separate populations in the North Atlantic, North Pacific Ocean and the Southern hemisphere. Some groups migrate North or South during the summer months for food. Southern hemisphere population, 400-1,400 animals.
Protection/Whaling: Totally protected. A small increase in the population in the Southern hemisphere and the Northern Atlantic.