Blue Whale swimming

Blue whale

Blue whales are the largest animals ever to have lived - bigger even than the largest of the dinosaurs. These jumbo-jet-sized giants inhabit the open ocean, where they are found most frequently along the continental shelf edges and near polar ice. A single calf is produced every two to three years, and from birth each calf consumes up to 50 gallons of milk every single day, leading to a colossal weight gain of 90 kilograms per day in its first year of life.

Did you know?
A blue whale's blood vessels are wide enough for a human to swim through.

Scientific name: Balaenoptera musculus

Rank: Species

Watch video clips from past programmes (4 clips)

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Blue whale size

An illustration showing the mighty blue whale's size relative to humans.

A comparison of the mighty blue whale's size in relation to humans.


The following habitats are found across the Blue whale distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status


  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Increasing

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1


BBC News about Blue whale

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