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The blue whale is quite an extraordinary creature. To begin with, it is a mammal that lives its entire life in the ocean. The size of its body is amazing. This whale can grow up to 98 feet long and weigh as much as 200 tons, making it the largest known animal to have ever existed. Its body is long and elegantly tapered, unlike other whales which have a rounder, stockier build. Their build, along with their extreme size, gives them a unique appearance and the ability to move more gracefully and at greater speeds than one might imagine. They can reach speeds up to 31 mph for short periods of time. Their normal traveling speed is around 12 mph, but they slow to 3.1 mph when feeding. Although they are extremely large animals, they eat small shrimp-like creatures called krill. Since the krill are so small, the blue whale eats about four tons daily as they swim deep in the ocean.
Unlike other whales that live in small, close-knit groups called pods, blue whales live and travel alone or with one other whale. While traveling through the ocean, they surface to breathe air into their lungs through blowholes. They emerge from the ocean, spewing water out of their blowhole, roll, and reenter the water with a grand splash of their large tail. They make loud, deep, and rumbling low-frequency sounds that travel great distances, which allow them to communicate with other whales as much as 100 miles away. Their cries can be felt as much as heard. Their resonating call makes them the loudest animal on Earth. If you ever have the opportunity to see or hear a blue whale, it will be an experience you will not soon forget.
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