If you think you have a big appetite, wait until you see this incredible footage (check it out below) of a blue whale feeding off the coast of New Zealand. Captured by a drone camera, the video shows the largest animal on the planet (and to have ever lived, period) devouring a huge swarm of krill in one gulp.
The drone’s perfect position gives us a rare and amazing view of how these gentle giants of the sea hunt for their food. As the video begins, we can see a large cluster of krill grouped together in the water, unaware of the looming danger. Then, out of nowhere, a massive blue whale emerges from the side and opens its mouth wide, engulfing the entire swarm of krill.
The video then shows some interesting facts about the blue whale and its feeding behavior. Did you know that a blue whale can reach nearly 7 mph but slows down drastically when it opens its mouth? While 7 mph doesn’t seem that fast, seeing a whale that is the size of MULTIPLE school buses cruising by at running speed can give some perspective.
The video ends with some beautiful drone shots of a few more blue whales swimming peacefully in the ocean.
Blue Whales: The Largest Animals EVER
Blue whales are some rather magnificent creatures and can grow up to 100 feet long and weigh more than 200 tons, making them the largest animals ever known to have lived on Earth. They can also communicate with loud vocal sounds that echo underwater for hundreds of miles. They do this with their massive bodies powering their whistles like an underwater trumpet.
Blue whales are baleen whales, which means they have these strange plates made of keratin inside of their mouths. They use these plates to filter their food from the water, which is different than when a toothed whale catches live prey like a squid or a seal. When they spot a dense patch of krill, they accelerate and open their mouths, taking in as much water and prey as possible. They then close their mouth and push the water out through their baleen, trapping the krill inside. The process is lunge feeding, and it’s one of the most efficient ways to feed in the ocean. For an animal the size of a blue whale, efficiency while feeding is really important!
Sadly, these amazing creatures are endangered due to past whaling history. In addition, they face current threats such as ship strikes, entanglement in fishing gear, pollution, and climate change. There are only about 10,000-25,000 left in the wild, and they need our protection and conservation.
Check Out the Video Below!
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