Channel Islands

A blue whale seen from above

Photo: NOAA

Blue Whale

Blue whales are the largest animals ever to live on our planet, yet eat tiny prey called krill. They can eat up to six tons of it each day! Like many whales, blue whales are at risk of being hit by large ships, which can injure or kill them. Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary is working to reduce ship strikes through voluntary speed reduction programs.

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SCIENTIFIC NAME: Balaenoptera musculus

DIET: Krill

LENGTH: Up to 100 feet

WEIGHT: Up to 330,000 pounds

LIFE SPAN: Unknown, but likely 70+ years

THREATS: Ship strikes, entanglement in fishing gear, ocean noise

STATUS: Endangered

FUN FACT: Blue whales are the largest animal to have ever lived on Earth – they are larger even than the dinosaurs were!