The researchers from the Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation reported two blue whales swimming off the coast of New England. The marine mammals rarely swim in pairs, and this apparition is even more impressive.
The blue whales have hearts as heavy as an automobile. They can grow up to 98 feet long and have weight up to 173 tons, being the largest mammal on Earth.
“We might see a blue whale every five to ten years, so it was possible but rare. And we’ve never seen two together in our last 20 years of whale watching and research off the New Hampshire coast,” said Jen Kennedy, executive director of the Blue Ocean Society.
The marine animals only feed on krill, tiny creatures that look like shrimps, which makes it amazing that they manage to grow up to these sizes. The secret lays in the quantity, as an adult blue whale can eat up to 4 tons of krill in a day.
The blue whales have fringed attached to upper jaws. While eating, the animal expands their throat and the belly. This makes way for tons of water filled with thousands of krill.
The mammals appear blue while under the water. When they reach out from the surface, they have a blue-grey color. The underbelly is yellow because their skin is full of microorganisms.
The Rare Blue Whales
Usually, the blue whales swim alone or in pairs. During the summer they feed in polar waters. As winter arrives, they move towards the Equator by taking long migration routes. They can reach speeds of 20 miles an hour. They are renown for being very loud.
The explanation for their powerful groans, moans, and pulses that can reach up to 1,000 miles, is that the sounds are important for communication and navigation.
The blue whales live to be around 90 years. The researchers estimate that there are between 10,000 and 25,000 blue whales in the oceans of the world.
However, the animals had to deal with extreme hunting in the first part of the 20th century, when more than 360,000 blue whales had been killed. They were declared a protected species in 1996. The recovery was not considered to be a success so far.
People who want to see the blue whales can go in cruises organized in the Gulf of Maine. Also on north of Gulf of Saint Lawrence and in the Saint Lawrence estuary.
Image Source: Wikipedia