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Blue Whales The Blue whale is the largest creature of the sea in fact its the largest creature known to man Contrary to what most people think even though Blue whales live in the sea they are mammals They breathe air have their babies born alive and can live anywhere from 30 to 70 years The Blue whale is a baleen whale and instead of having teeth Blue whales have around 300-400 baleen plates in their mouths Baleen are rows of coarse bristle-like fibers used to strain plankton from the water Baleen is made of keratin the same material as our fingernails The Blue whale is called a rorqual a Norwegian word for furrow referring to the pleated grooves running from its chin to its naval The pleated throat grooves allow the Blue whales throat to expand during the huge intake of water during filter feeding they can hold 1000 tons or more of food and water when fully expanded Small 1971 They average about 50-70 throat grooves Blue whales grow up to about 80 feet 25m long on average weighing about 120 tons The females are generally larger than the males this is the case for all baleen whales The largest specimen found was a female 94 feet 29m long weighing more than 174 tons Satchell 1998 The head of the Blue whale forms up to a quarter of the total body length Compared with other rorquals the head is very broad The blue whale heart is also large the size of a small car and can pump almost 10 tons of blood throughout the body They also have a very small falcate sickle-shaped dorsal fin that is located near the fluke or tail Blue whales have long thin flippers 8 feet 24m long and flukes that are 25feet 76m wide The blue whales skin is usually blue-gray with white-gray spots The underbelly has brown yellow or gray specks During the winter in cold
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