Blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) are the largest of all whales and the largest animal on earth, reaching lengths of 100’ and weighing up to 150 tons. They are very streamlined, and as their name suggests, are a bluish-gray color. The blue whale and humpback whale have similar diets, so they often can be sighted simultaneously. The blue whale can be distinguished by a very large, narrow spout that can reach 38 feet. An average spout is about 30 feet. The blue raises its head above the water to spout, resulting in a spectacular show of whale eyes, mouth, and water. This impressive spout is possible because the lung capacity of the blue whale is 1400 gallons! However, the blue whale is less acrobatic than the humpback whale so less likely to fully breech out of the water.
The northern Pacific blue whale is listed as endangered. World-wide, the blue whale population is estimated as 10,000 – 25,000, but this population is dispersed throughout all the oceans of the world, in both near shore and deep ocean waters. Several of these populations are considered endangered.