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Saving the Earth’s Largest Creature to Have Ever Lived
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by Bianca Cimini

 

blue_whale 1The majestic blue whale is the world’s largest mammal, ranging in length from 24-33 meters and weighing up to 300,000 lbs. Bigger than any dinosaur to ever roam the Earth, their hearts alone are the size of a small car. They swim miles and miles a day, looking for their next meal. For being the largest animal in the world, they opt for one of the smallest meals – krill, a small crustacean. Blue whales tend to travel solo or in pairs, but are thought to form close bonds and attachments. They are the gentle giants of the deep.

Today, they are rarely seen and spend the majority of their time in the depths, descending up to 500 meters at a time and spending sometimes 30 minutes underwater. However, it is truly their decline in numbers that play a large part in why these gentle beings are a rare sighting for seafarers. In 1970, they were placed on the endangered list by the Endangered Species Conservation Act.

Due to commercial whaling, blue whales were almost wiped off the planet. What was once over 200,000 blue whales in existence has been diminished to just over 2,000. It wasn’t until the global whaling ban was put into place that the rate of decline slowed down significantly and kept the species around. While the pace has seemingly slowed, blue whales remain on the endangered list. As long as climate change remains an issue, blue whales may remain on this list for years to come. Global warming has severely impacted their food supply of krill, which in turns affects their ability to nourish and sustain.

Aside from climate change, they also face the risks of pollution (especially tangled fishing nets and gear), collision with boats and ships, oil spills, noise pollution, as well as those who may still hunt illegally.

To lose the largest animal in existence is a tragedy waiting to happen. While the rate of decline has improved, it is essential to protect these magnificent creatures to keep their legacy and spirit alive. To help, you can visit “Save the Whales” https://savethewhales.org/ and learn more on how you can preserve the world’s largest creature to have ever lived.blue_whale 2

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