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The blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) is a member of the cetacean family and with fewer than 10,000 individuals it is considered endangered. This is the largest species ever to exist (even bigger than dinosaurs!) measuring up to 31 meters (102 feet). When a blue whale breeches, it must first gain an underwater momentum of faster than 23 mph to propel itself out of the water! The blue whale filters tiny planktonic shrimp from the ocean surface through a comb like structure in its mouth called baleen. Although they are the largest members of the animal kingdom, blue whales survive on some of the tiniest members of the animal kingdom. (photo: Fred Benko)

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