Blue Whale

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Blue Whale

Blue WhaleOriginal.jpg

Character Data
Japanese Name: シロナガスクジラ
Romanised Name: Shironagasukujira
First Featured in: Kemono Friends (2015 Game)
Animal Data
Scientific Name: Balaenoptera musculus
Distribution: Unknown
Diet: Carnivore
Average Lifespan in the Wild: 80 – 110 years
Read More: Blue whale
Conservation Status: Status iucn3.1 EN.svg.png
Blue Whale Festival Pavilion KF3 Nexon Game Stage Play

The Blue Whale is a type of Friend that appeared in the original Kemono Friends mobile game and the stage play.

Appearance

Blue Whale's most prominent feature is her hair. At the top of her head is a blowhole, with two fins protruding outward either side of it. Her front bangs gradient from gray to white, while the back hair becomes a shimmering blue color that mimics the sea. She wears a pair of glasses and has a hairpin shaped like the Japari Park logo combined with an anchor.

She wears a long white ribbed sweater that covers the majority of her upper body, along with two black over the knee boots. Her tail is shaped like a whale's own, and is one of the larger ones amongst all of the Friends.

In Real Life

With a length of 100ft and a weight of around 200 tons, the blue whale is the largest animal to have ever existed, outsizing even the dinosaurs. Even baby whales, called calves, are born at 25ft long and weigh 3 tons. An adult blue whale's heart is the same size as a car, and its beats can be heard from up to two miles away.

Their unbeatable size means they also rank as the third loudest animal on the planet. They can vocalise songs in order to talk to other whales, such as when looking for a mate. These vocalisations can hit 188dB in volume (louder than a jet engine, rock concert, or 12-gauge shotgun blast), and can travel for hundreds of miles through the water. The only animals that beat it for volume are sperm whales (230dB) and pistol shrimps (200dB).

A ginormous blue whale.

Despite their gargantuan size, the blue whale's primary diet is krill. While krill typically grow to a size of a few inches, the blue whale can make a meal of them by attacking patches of them. Due to how much energy is expended when eating large patches of krill, blue whales have to be picky with which patches to attack.

Once they find a suitably sized ball of krill, they'll lunge forward with mouth open to scoop up as much as possible. This catches the krill, but also causes their mouths to fill with seawater, which is undesirable. The blue whale solves this problem by forcing the water back out of its mouth through the baleen plates, a fingernail-like material that lines the upper jaw. The baleen plates allow water to pass out of the mouth, but catches all the krill trying to pass through, filtering the food from the water. A blue whale will need approximately 2,000lbs of krill to feel full, and will need 9,000lbs total for a full day's worth of food.

For mating, blue whales have a 'dating period' around July or August. A male and a female will pair up and spend time together to gauge each other. During this period, another male may approach the pair to express interest in the female. When this happens, the female initiates a race between the two males. This will often lead to the two males exchanging blows using their tails and heads as they race. Whoever the female judges to be the most physically fit during the race becomes the new mate.

Despite being the largest animals to ever exist, scientists have yet to pinpoint the details on where and how blue whales mate. All that's known is that it occurs during late autumn to early winter, and that it happens somewhere within the warm waters near the Equator. Migration to the breeding grounds can last up to 4 months, during which the blue whale will not eat. The whale derives the energy to survive from its own blubber and stored calories.

Unfortunately, the blue whale's large bodies and stores of blubber make them very appealing for human hunters. Since the 1700s, humans have been interested in whaling for food, oil, and clothing purposes. However, the blue whale's speed and power made them a tricky hunt, forcing hunters to instead target sperm whales. In 1864, harpoons were beginning to be mounted onto steamboats. Once the technology had been refined, hunting blue whales became a lot easier. By 1883, blue whales were beginning to be hunted. Whale hunting technology advanced with whale catchers, and by the time World War 2 came around, 90% of the world's blue whales were gone. Blue whale hunting was eventually banned and their population was allowed to recover. Their main dangers these days are pollution and effects of global warming.

Trivia

  • At max speed, a blue whale can reach up to 30MPH.
  • A blue whale can expel air up to 20ft from its blowhole

References

Nationalgeographic.com. (2017). Blue Whale / National Geographic. [online] Available at: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/b/blue-whale/ [Accessed 4 Dec. 2017].

TreeHugger. (2017). 11 facts about blue whales, the largest animals ever known to live on Earth. [online] Available at: https://www.treehugger.com/animals/11-facts-about-blue-whales-largest-animals-ever-known-earth.html [Accessed 4 Dec. 2017].

Enchantedlearning.com. (2017). BLUE WHALE: the Loudest Animal Alive. [online] Available at: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/whales/species/bluewhale/Loudest.shtml [Accessed 4 Dec. 2017].

News.nationalgeographic.com. (2017). Watch the World’s Biggest Animal Lunge for its Dinner. [online] Available at: https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/04/blue-whale-krill-feeding-habits-drone-video/ [Accessed 4 Dec. 2017].

Davies, E. (2017). The world's loudest animal might surprise you. [online] Bbc.co.uk. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/earth/story/20160331-the-worlds-loudest-animal-might-surprise-you [Accessed 4 Dec. 2017].

Afsc.noaa.gov. (2017). National Marine Mammal Laboratory. [online] Available at: https://www.afsc.noaa.gov/nmml/education/cetaceans/blue.php [Accessed 4 Dec. 2017].

Science, L. (2017). Animal Sex: How Blue Whales Do It. [online] Live Science. Available at: https://www.livescience.com/38395-animal-sex-how-blue-whales-do-it.html [Accessed 4 Dec. 2017].

List, S. and Watching, W. (2017). Blue Whale Facts. [online] Whalefacts.org. Available at: http://www.whalefacts.org/blue-whale-facts/ [Accessed 4 Dec. 2017].

Wwf.panda.org. (2017). Blue whale. [online] Available at: http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/endangered_species/cetaceans/about/blue_whale/ [Accessed 4 Dec. 2017].

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