75-80 feet (23-24.5 m) in Northern Hemisphere
Endangered – 3,000-4,000 in N. Hemisphere; 5,000-10,000 in S. Hemisphere
Blue Whales filter-feed nearly exclusively on small shrimp-like critters called krill by trapping large masses of them in their baleen plates. They can eat up to 40 million krill each day. Blue Whales can be found alone or in small groups while in feeding or mating/birthing grounds. Although they can quicken the pace if alarmed, they typically travel at roughly 10-12 mph.
It is believed that the population of blue whales was once nearly 450,000. Unfortunately, due to excessive exploitation from the whaling industry, 99% of the population was killed off, leaving between 8,000-12,000 individuals remaining globally. It is no longer permitted to hunt whales of any kind in the United States, allowing for a slow recovery. Blue Whales are a critically endangered animal that only a small percent of the world will ever be lucky enough to see in the wild.