Blue whale

Blue whale

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Credit: CHRISTOPHER SWANN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Baby blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus), its throat grooves, which expand during feeding, are visible. This whale is the world's largest animal, and is probably the largest animal that has ever lived. It can reach lengths of 27 metres and weigh 120 tonnes, with females being larger than males. It is found in all the world's seas, spending the winter in tropical waters and migrating to cooler polar oceans for the rest of the year. One calf is born after a gestation period of 10 to 11 months. A newborn calf measures roughly 7 metres in length. It nurses for 7 to 8 months, consuming over 350 litres of its mother's milk and gaining 90 kilograms in weight a day. Photographed in the Sea of Cortes, Mexico.

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Keywords: animal, aquatic, baby, balaenoptera musculus, baleen, biggest, biological, biology, blue whale, calf, carnivore, carnivorous, fauna, groove, head, heaviest, largest, mammal, marine, mexico, nature, ocean, offspring, one, rorqual, sea, sea of cortes, single, surface, swimming, throat grooves, underwater, ventral grooves, wildlife, young, zoological, zoology

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