Our mysterious planet is inhabited by many types of various largest animals. They are all completely different in structure, in their methods of movement, nutrition, reproduction, lifestyle, and, of course, in size. Not all and not even half of the animals have massive bodies. Only a few species on Earth have a massive body structure, and among them, whales are considered to be the largest mammals of the current era. In this article, we are going to look into the 10 world’s largest whales ever discovered.
Whales can live only in large reservoirs because their body size would not be favorable in rivers or lakes. The second requirement is salt water. These mammals have significant benefits both for nature and humans but still, people extract so-called whale oil.
By the way, whales filter water using whale whiskers, similar to barrier plates. The whale is not a fish, but a mammal, just like a dolphin. But the dolphin in terms of the size of its body cannot be compared with a whale. After all, whales are the largest animals on Earth.
1. Common minke whale
Minke whale expands up to 10 meters in length. It lives in the areas of the Southern and Northern Hemispheres. It eats small fish, plankton. Its fins and belly are white, and the upper body is dark gray in color. The white stripes on its head make it different from other largest whales.
2. North Atlantic right whale
One of the largest whales, reaching a length of 17 meters, weights more than 100 tons. This animal lives in the northern zones of the Atlantic Ocean. There is one interesting feature of the structure of this whale, which is the absence of the dorsal fin. That is why the whole family of these species is called the right whale family. It has no protection against water parasitism, you can find hundreds of thousands of parasites or their traces on its body.
Most parasites are found on the forehead of the animal. This whale is on the verge of extinction, it has become easy prey to human, as it moves very slowly (not more than 9 kilometers per hour). There are only about three hundred of them left in the world.
3. Humpback whale
This whale belongs to the family of baleen whale. Its name comes from the appearance of the dorsal fin. Although it reaches 18 meters in length, its weight is smaller as compared to North Atlantic right whale, only 50 tons.
The pectoral fins are long, the tail fin is large, therefore it moves and balances in the water much faster. This species is not endangered and can be found in almost all waters of the oceans. By the way, they typically migrate up to 16,000 miles every year.
4. Southern right whale
They are similar to Northern smooth whale but live in Southern hemisphere. Their weight is about 80 tons, and brown color is added to coloring in some areas of their body. Their head takes one-third part of the whole body. There are approximately 10,000 of these whales spread across the world.
5. North Pacific right whale
It is a large, thickset whale species in the world. It can reach 19 meters in length, weigh 75-80 tons, black in color. the whale primarily eats copepods and absorbs plankton. North Pacific right whale does not move not very fast.
The whales reproduce slowly; a female can give birth to only one cub in three or four years. These whales are normally found in the Pacific Ocean, mainly northern areas. At the moment, they are extremely rare and endangered.
6. Sperm whale
Probably, it is the most famous whale in the world. They live in packs. The shape of the body is very original, its head has an extended large beak. Females and males differ in weight and size: males – 20 meters and 50 tons, and females – 15 meters and not more than 20 tons. They eat mollusks, plankton, squid. These whales are able to scoop the bottom of the ocean, filtering out edible food.
They can be found in almost all areas of the oceans, except for waters where the temperature is very low. The sperm whale was dangerous for the wooden ships. A collision with a sperm whale’s massive head could cause significant damage to ships. Of course, there is still a danger for small ships passing through the area of sperm whales.
7. Sei whale
They belong to the baleen whale family, have only 30 tons in weight, but the length can reach 19-20 meters. Sei whale lives and eats the same way as sperm whales. Unlike other species, it can live for as many years as a human. It moves at a speed of more than 30 kilometers per hour, as its appearance resembles an elongated torpedo. Its body shape allows aquatic inhabitants to balance easily and move quickly, as it reduces water resistance to a minimum.
8. Bowhead whale
It is also known as Greenland right whale or Arctic whale. They are usually found in the Arctic and sub-arctic waters, unlike other whale species which migrate to low latitude waters to give birth or to feed. The body parameters are large: up to 23 meters in length and up to 150 tons in weight.
Despite the fact that this whale has such a body, it can swim at a speed of 20 kilometers per hour. 40 years is its maximum age.
Separate individuals could exist for more than 100 years. This species can calmly dive to a depth of 200 meters and swim even under the ice.
9. Fin Whale
It is also known as finback whale or common rorqual. This whale can grow up to 85ft (approx. 27meters) in length and nearly 75 tons in weight. It lives in the southern and northern hemisphere. The whale’s back is gray in color, and the belly is white. This creature lives alone, but if necessary, the whales can gather in a small detachment of six or seven individuals. It can sail at speeds in excess of 45 kilometers per hour and dive to a depth of 240 meters. Of course, it is very difficult for a person to get such a whale, so the species is not endangered.
10. Blue whale
It is the largest whale known to have ever existed in the world. If necessary, the blue whale is able to throw itself ashore, committing suicide. This species is the most ancient one. It can grow up to 33 meters in length and weigh up to 170 tons.
They live for 80 years but are on the verge of extinction. Scientists all around the world are putting their effort to save this species from extinction. Currently, there are only 10,000 of them left.
But recently, the 85-foot-long fossil of blue whale has been found on the shore of an Italian lake, which confirms that current blue whale species are not the largest animals that have ever lived on this planet.