Last updated: January 25, 2018 at 16:42 pm
Blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) — This marine mammal is believed to be the largest animal ever to have lived. A specimen captured near the South Shetland Islands in 1926 measured 33.27 m (110 ft) and weighed an estimated 190 tons. The blue whale has one of the slowest heartbeats of any mammal at 4 to 8 beats per minute. It is also one of the loudest animals, singing at up to 188 decibels. The skeleton of a 25 m (82 ft) blue whale that washed up on the coast of Prince Edward Island in 1987 became the centrepiece of the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Beaty Biodiversity Museum, and the largest skeleton suspended without external support, in May 2010.
Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. 2002. Assessment and Update Status Report on the Blue Whale, Balaenoptera musculus.
Bortolotti, Dan. 2008. Wild Blue: A Natural History of the World’s Largest Animal. St. Martin’s Press.
Reidenberg, JS; Laitman, JT. 2007. Discovery of a low frequency sound source in Mysticeti (baleen whales): anatomical establishment of a vocal fold homolog. Anatomical Record. 290 (6): 745–59.
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Jeffrey Gallant is the Editor-in-Chief and Records Keeper of the Diving Almanac. He is also a contributing editor of DIVER Magazine, and the scientific director of the Greenland Shark and Elasmobranch Education and Research Group (GEERG). Jeffrey started diving in 1982.