How Much Does a Blue Whale Eat?

The mouth of an adult blue whale opens to almost 10 feet (3 m) wide, allowing it to take in significant amounts of food in a single swallow. Ribbed structures on a blue whale's upper jaw can trap small sea animals, which the blue whale then swallows for sustenance. The amount of food that can be trapped when a blue whale takes a gulp of water is as much as 1,102 pounds (500 kg), providing the whale with about 500,000 calories.

More about the blue whale:

  • Nobody has ever been able to weigh an entire blue whale at one time, because of its exceptional size. Instead, people have had to weigh parts of dead whales and then add the weights to arrive at a single figure for the whole animal.

  • The average adult blue whale weighs about 200 tons (180 metric tons) and is 94 feet (30 m) long.

  • An adult blue whale's tongue can weigh as much as an adult elephant.

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