What is the largest living creature on Earth?
The award for the largest animal goes to the blue whale. Contrary to popular belief, whales are not fish. They, along with dolphins, are among the few mammals that live in the water. They have lungs like we do instead of gills like fish and they give birth to their young live instead of laying eggs. Another little known fact is that, as far as we know, the blue whale is the largest animal ever to have lived in the history of the Earth. Many people believe that dinosaurs were the largest animals but the largest dinosaur that we have discovered, the Argentinosaurus, is only half as big as an adult blue whale.
On average, an adult blue whale is 75 – 100 feet long and they can weigh up to 150 tons. That’s 300,000 pounds. So far, the largest blue whale we have discovered is estimated to weigh 389,760 pounds. To put the blue whale’s size into perspective, it is said that 50 people can stand on their tongue. Their heart is as big as a car and a person can crawl through their veins like tunnels. Blue whales are so large that even babies are bigger than any land animal. The biggest land animal is the African elephant. Newborn blue whales weigh more than the elephant and can be over 25 feet long. As babies, blue whales eat over 100 gallons of milk every day and when they are adults they eat over 8,000 pounds of food each day. Another amazing fact about blue whales is that they eat only tiny sea animals called krill. Their throats are not very large and they can’t eat larger fish. Blue whales have been endangered species since the 1960s. It is estimated that there are only between 6,000 – 12,000 blue whales alive today. By making it illegal to hunt blue whales it is hoped that we can save them from extinction.
Even though blue whales are largest animals, they are dwarfed by the largest plant. The red sequoia of California grows up to 348 feet tall and lives for about 2,200 years.
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