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Blue Whale - Balaenoptera musculus
Photo by NOAA

Blue whales are the largest creatures found on earth reaching a length of 34m (110 ft) and weighing up to 120 tons. This species holds many records in the animal kingdom, yet for all its greatness it is also one of the most endangered. Over the past decade, both the Channel Islands and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuaries have had an increasing number of blue whale sightings as the whales come to feed on krill during the spring and summer months. This species is easily identified by its blow, an impressive tall column of spray up to 9m high.

Blue Whale
(Balaenoptera musculus)

Both temperate and tropical open waters, possibly world wide

Open ocean



The status of this species is representative of the populations within the waters of this Sanctuary only, not global populations.

Quick Fact
The species name musculus could be derived from the Latin, diminutive of mus for "mouse" or the French form of Latin where it means muscular.

Learn More
- NOAA National Marine Mammal Laboratory