Animalia > Chordata > Mammalia > Cetacea > Balaenopteridae > Balaenoptera > Balaenoptera musculus

Balaenoptera musculus (Blue Whale)

Synonyms: Balaena musculus; Sibbaldius sulfureus
Language: French; Spanish

Wikipedia Abstract

The blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) is a marine mammal belonging to the baleen whales (Mysticeti). At up to 30 metres (98 ft) in length and with a maximum recorded weight of 173 tonnes (191 short tons) and probably reaching over 181 tonnes (200 short tons), it is the largest animal ever known to have existed.
View Wikipedia Record: Balaenoptera musculus


Balaenoptera musculus brevicauda (Pygmy Blue Whale)
Balaenoptera musculus indica (Great Indian Rorqual)
Balaenoptera musculus intermedia (Southern Blue Whale)
Balaenoptera musculus musculus (Northern Blue Whale)

Endangered Species

Status: Endangered
View IUCN Record: Balaenoptera musculus

EDGE Analysis

The largest mammal ever known to have existed. The species is thought to feed almost exclusively on krill (small, shrimp-like crustaceans). In the summer feeding areas, individuals may consume as much as 4 tonnes of krill each day. Blue whales have the deepest voice of any animal, and their vocalizations carry for thousands of miles underwater, allowing them to communicate across vast oceans at frequencies below the range of human hearing. For centuries the blue whale was safe from exploitation because of its sheer size and speed. However, the species was driven to the brink of extinction following the development of modern whaling techniques.
Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 22.63
EDGE Score: 5.24
View EDGE Record: Balaenoptera musculus


Emoji [4]  whale
Gestation [2]  11 months 20 days
Litter Size [2]  1
Litters / Year [2]  0.4
Maximum Longevity [2]  110 years
Migration [1]  Interoceanic
Speed [5]  29.818 MPH (13.33 m/s)
Water Biome [1]  Pelagic
Weaning [2]  6 months 2 days
Adult Weight [2]  149.915 tons (136,000.00 kg)
Birth Weight [2]  2.205 tons (2,000.00 kg)
Diet [3]  Carnivore (Invertebrates)
Diet - Invertibrates [3]  100 %
Forages - Marine [3]  100 %
Female Maturity [2]  5 years
Male Maturity [2]  5 years

Protected Areas

Emblem of

Antigua And Barbuda

Prey / Diet

Prey / Diet Overlap


Parasite of 
Trichinella spiralis (pork worm)[6]


Range Map


Antarctica/Southern Ocean; East Pacific; Eastern Atlantic Ocean; Indo-West Pacific; Western Atlantic Ocean;

External References



Attributes / relations provided by
1Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at
2de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
3Hamish Wilman, Jonathan Belmaker, Jennifer Simpson, Carolina de la Rosa, Marcelo M. Rivadeneira, and Walter Jetz. 2014. EltonTraits 1.0: Species-level foraging attributes of the world's birds and mammals. Ecology 95:2027
4Emoji by Twitter is licensed under CC BY 4.0
5Wikipedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
6Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
7Food Web Relationships of Northern Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca : a Synthesis of the Available Knowledge, Charles A. Simenstad, Bruce S. Miller, Carl F. Nyblade, Kathleen Thornburgh, and Lewis J. Bledsoe, EPA-600 7-29-259 September 1979
8Blue whale habitat and prey in the California Channel Islands, Paul C. Fiedler, Stephen B. Reilly, Roger P. Hewitt, David Demer, Valerie A. Philbrick, Susan Smith, Wesley Armstrong, Donald A. Croll, Bernie R. Tershy, Bruce R. Mate, Deep-Sea Research II 45 (1998) 1781-1801
9Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License