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Exploring Nature Science Education Resource:

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Whale (Blue)

Balaenoptera musculus
Whale (Blue), blue whale

The blue whale is the largest animal in the world. They measure up to 100 feet long and weigh as much as 150 tons (300,000 pounds). Their heart alone can weigh 2,000 pounds. Scientists think that there once were 300,000 blue whales swimming the oceans. Then modern whaling began and quickly the blue whale population disappeared. By 1960, scientists thought that there were only 1,000 left on Earth.

What is Being Done?

In 1972, they were protected from hunting by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Then in 1973, they were given added protection by the endangered species act. Even the International Whaling Commission banned whalers from taking blue whales.

Are Things Better?

Blue whales numbers are rising again slowly. Scientists believe there could be as many as 15,000 now. Only time will tell how this giant of the ocean will recover.

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