Monday, August 20, 2007

Five Blue Whales seen off BC coast

Five blue have been sighted off the Coast, including one calf, near the Queen Charlotte Islands on Saturday August 11th. This is an extremely rare sighting and I hope that they are making a comeback to our waters. It has been 50 years since they have been seen here. Blue whales have a life expectancy of 35-40 years so this pod has never been here before.

Blue whales are an endangered species. It is estimated that there are about 10,000-14,000 blue whales world-wide. They were hunted to near extinction until hunting was banned in 1965.

The blue whale is the largest animal that ever lived on Earth. They grow to be about 80 feet (25 m) long on average, weighing about 120 tons (109 tonnes). The females are larger than the males, and a large adult whale can have a heart that weighs about 1,000 pounds (450 kg) and has 14,000 pounds (6,400 kg) of blood circulating in its body. The heart is about the size of a Volkswagon bug car. A human could crawl through the aorta (a major blood vessel).

Blue whales are the loudest animals on Earth! Their call reaches levels up to 188 decibels. This low-frequency whistle can be heard for hundreds of miles. The blue whale is louder than a jet, which reaches only 140 decibels! Human shouting is 70 decibels; sounds over 120 decibels are painful to human ears.

I hope I will see one one day when I go back down to the coast.

Blue Whales seen off British Columbia coast


david mcmahon said...

Hi Vic,

Lovely post. I phoographed southern right whales off coastal South Australia some years ago.

That was the old whaling coastline, but now they come up to calve in the warmer waters - in safety.

This stretch of coastline figures prominently in my novel Vegemite Vindaloo - and so do the whales and a unique whale-watching flight.

Keep smiling


Jeni said...

You come up with some of the most interesting posts - with fascinating statistics to go along with the piece. Just never ceases to amaze, entertain AND educate me!

I Was Born2Cree8 said...

Wonderful news... great post. Thanks for all the interesting info on Blue Whales.