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Blue Whales off of Southern California Beaches

Posted by Jody on September 13, 2011

The blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) is the largest animal known to man, sometimes weighing in at over 330,000 pounds!  In the Antarctic, the blue whale can can reach lengths of up to 108 feet long!  According to NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service website: “Despite their massive size, blue whales feed almost exclusively on krill, tiny shrimp-like animals about the size of a jelly bean!”

Blue Whale with Calf (Photo by Andreas Tille, from Wikimedia Commons)

“As is true of other baleen whale species, female blue whales are somewhat larger than males. Blue whales are identified by the following characteristics: a long-body and comparatively slender shape; a broad, flat “rostrum” when viewed from above; a proportionately smaller dorsal fin than other baleen whales; and a mottled gray color pattern that appears light blue when seen through the water.” (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

Blue whales have been thrilling boaters and kayakers off the coast of Southern California near Redondo Beach this week!  Breaching and spouting away, this is really up close and personal. Check out the short article and awesome video from KABC-TV Los Angeles.

You can read more about these fascinating giants of the sea on the NMFS/NOAA Blue Whale page.  Enjoy!

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