As the largest marine mammals on the planets, whales are an incredible collection of animals that have fascinated and delighted researchers and observers alike for thousands of years. Whales are linked to the ancient cultures of the past, have played pivotal roles in the development of entire nations and are some of the most sought-after species in the world. While whales come in a range of sizes, humans have always been drawn to the largest of these amazing creatures. Count down the top largest whales species on the planet to learn more.
At position is the Minke whale, one of the largest creatures on Earth. It is also called the lesser rorqual whale. There are various subspecies of Minke whales such as common, dwarf, and Antarctic Minke whales. They measure up to 35 feet or 10.5 meters long.
From common sightings, these whales travel alone or in pairs but not more than that. They have furrows or grooves along the throat that spread out to corner prey when hunting.
They are mostly observed in shallow waters. some of the dangers these whales are exposed to include collisions with ships and boats and whaling. Their main diet consists of small schools of fish and zooplankton. They have particularly selective feeding from spring through autumn. It is also quite fast.
9.Bryde’s Whale Complex
The Bryde’s whale is named after John Bryde, a Norwegian who helped to establish the first whaling station in South Africa. Bryde’s whales are commonly spotted off the coast of Southern Africa, but they are also found in places like Mexico, the Caribbean, Hawaii and California. Residing in tropical and subtropical waters, the grey-colored Bryde’s Whale can grow to become nearly 50 feet in length and weigh up to 25 tons. Bryde’s whales tend to stay in pairs, although they might be seen in larger groups when feeding.
8.Greyback Whale – “Devil Fish”
At number 8 is the grey whale, which is among the giants of the sea. It measures up to 49 feet long. That is as tall as the Hollywood Sign. It weighs 36 tons, the weight of about 15 full-sized pickups. Its name is derived from the grey and white patterns on its body.
Its calves have a darker coloration which gradually grows into grey. It is a baleen whale found in the coasts of North Pacific, Atlantic, and has been sighted in the Mediterranean and even south on the coast of Namibia.
Researchers have made observations of this exuberant migrator across the Pacific. The Grey Whale is a bottom feeder and its main food is amphipods, isopods, small fish, and red crabs. They, therefore, stay around the continental shelf where they can scoop sediments from the ocean floor.
It is known as the ‘Devil Fish” due to its persistent resistance during capture. Grey mother whales are also vigorous protectors of their calves. Mating among grey whales strangely involves 3 or more individuals. The gestation of a grey whale is up to 13 months.
The sei whale is another baleen whale, but it can grow to become much larger than the minke whale. A sei whale can easily surpass 50 feet in length by maturity and weigh as much as 28 tons. A sei whale can be recognized by its dark grey color and its irregular white markings on the front of the body. The sei whale also boasts a slightly arched rostrum, which is one of the few things that separates its appearance from the similar bryde’s whale.
Interestingly, the humpback does not actually have a humpback. It was named that because whenever the whale is about to take a deep plunge in the water, it arches its back, creating a hump-like formation.
The humpback measures up to 60 feet long and weighs 40 metric tons, an equivalent of 5 Tyrannosaurus rex. They are the most prominent migrators in the whale species. They travel up to 4900 km a year.
The greatest migration ever recorded was an amazing 18,840 km journey. They migrate to the temperate waters around the equator during summer. Also, they make quite a show with their acrobatic styles. Humpback whales are excellent at breaching, despite their great size and weight.
They propel their bodies out of the water and splashback with ease. This behavior, according to some scientists, is a display of health to impress the females during the mating season. The lifespan of a Humpback whale is about 50 years.
They filter feed on small crustaceans and planktons. They are identified by particular deep furrows running along their throats. Humpbacks are mainly found in the North Pacific, the Gulf of Alaska and Maine, and even the Arabian Sea.
Humpbacks are sometimes loners, but they can travel in pods, that is, a group of two or three. Another infamous characteristic is their haunting songs; a mixture of howls and cries, and moans that go on for hours. The males are the singers and can be heard up to 30km away.
5.Bowhead Whale (59 feet / 18 meters)
The bowhead whale is an unusual species for a number of reasons, including the fact that it doesn’t have a dorsal fin and it has the largest mouth of any whale. Bowhead whales reside in the cold waters of the Arctic and Subarctic, and they can grow to a mammoth 59 feet (18 metes) in length. An adult Bowhead whale can weigh 75 tons. That is more than the weight of The Space Shuttle. They measure 50 to 60 feet long. They are remarkable in breaching and have so much leap power, they can jump completely out of the water.
Their large heads have powerful skulls and strong bodies that enable them to break ice up to 7 inches thick. In fact, the skull of a Bowhead reaches a third of its entire body. They have thick blubber, about 50 cm thick, that preserve warmth in their bodies in the cold Arctic. That is so far the thickest blubber in any whale species.
They feed on zooplankton at the bottom and shallow ends of the ocean. A bowhead can eat up to 2 tons of food a day. commercial whalers in the 20th century wiped out a large population of Bowhead whales. Today, the number is approximately 10,000.
4.Right Whale (60 feet / 18.3 meters)
The largest species of toothed whales lives throughout the world’s oceans. Females are much smaller than males, males grow on average up to 19 meters, reach a weight of up to 50 tons. Unlike other representatives, sperm whales are distinguished by their aggressiveness, they have repeatedly tossed boats and small vessels with their rectangular head. Looking at these mammals, there is confidence in the conclusions of scientists – they consider hippos to be the progenitors of whales.
The whale’s head is up to 1/3 of the body length. The teeth of the sperm whale grow unevenly at the top and bottom. Up to 3 pairs of huge teeth at the top, weighing up to a kilogram. Below are the remaining 26 pairs, they are much smaller than the top ones. Predators do not disdain sharks, turtles, swallow prey whole. In search of food, they dive up to 20 meters.
3.Sperm Whale (67 feet / 20.5 meters)
The whale does not have a dorsal fin, the huge head is up to 1/3 of the body length. The average length of individuals is up to 18 years, weight is up to 80 tons, cubs are born from 4 to 5.5 meters long, females are slightly larger than males. Southern right whales live in tropical latitudes. Slow animals that live near the coast have received the nickname “correct whales” from English whalers. They became easy prey, the carcasses always remained on the surface, they were easy to tow to the shore.
In the last century, when the hunting of marine mammals was banned, the population of southern right whales increased significantly, there are about 7 thousand animals in the world. The main enemies are killer whales, they hunt clumsy cubs.
2.Fin Whale (90 feet / 27.5 meters)
With the length of up to 80 feet and a weight of 70 tons, the Finback whale is the second largest whale in the world. it seems to have a lot of nicknames derived from its features and characteristics.
The longest Fin whale measured 89 feet long. It is also one of the fastest whales and can reach a maximum of 29 mph, leading to their nickname “greyhound of the sea”. They have a unique ridge running along its back, hence the name razorback.
The Fin whale has an asymmetrical coloration that is known to use to hunt for fish. According to researchers, the Fin whales circle and display their white underbellies to the targeted fish, scaring them into a tighter bunch which is easier to capture.
Apart from the fish, the Fin whale feeds on krill, squid, and crustaceans. It has a characteristic color on the lower jaw, white on the left and black on the right side.
Commercial whaling is the biggest threat to Finback whales and the population today is about 50,000. They mate and calve during winter in the temperate waters. The gestation period of a mother Fin whale is one year.
1.Blue Whale (98 feet / 30 meters)
The blue whale is the largest whale in the world. This large marine mammal is a long-liver, living up to 100 years. They prefer to live in solitude, gathering in small groups only for the mating period. The maximum weight of females is 150 tons.
The animal population is huge, there are about 10 thousand individuals in the world, they feed on shoals of small fish species, plankton, crustaceans. Up to 2.2 tons of feed are swallowed per day. Cubs are born weighing more than two tons, up to 7 meters long, grow at a speed of up to 4 kilograms per hour. By six months, they suck out more than a ton of milk.
The brain of a mammal is small, up to 6 kilograms. Blue whales can hear each other at a distance of 1600 kilometers. The biggest whales and the loudest.