During the summer and fall Blue Whales feed along the California Coast, then return to their wintering grounds several hundred miles off the coast of Costa Rica. Scientists estimate that there were once 200,000 Blue Whales inhabiting the world’s oceans. Many years of intense whaling decimated the species. Now, with hunting banned by an international treaty, their numbers are around 10,000.
Blue whales are the largest mammals to ever inhabit the earth, measuring up to 100 feet long and weighing up to 100-120 tons. Ironically, the largest animal in the world eats one of the world’s smallest animals: tiny, shrimp-like creatures called “krill”. A Blue Whale can ingest up to eight tons of krill a day. A special grooved pouch in its throat can expand to accommodate 40-50 tons of krill and water; at maximum capacity this pouch is the size of a large living room.