CHRISTOPHER SWANN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHRISTOPHER SWANN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Blue whale skeleton (Balaenoptera musculus) on a rocky shore. Hundreds of blue whales become stranded on land every year. They may come near to the shore in search of food or because they are injured. The blue 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. Photographed on the coast of the Sea of Cortes, Mexico.
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