"Long and slender, the blue whale's body can be various shades of bluish-grey dorsally and somewhat lighter underneath. There are at least three distinct subspecies: B. m. musculus of the North Atlantic and North Pacific, B. m. intermedia of the Southern Ocean and B. m. brevicauda (also known as the pygmy blue whale) found in the Indian Ocean and South Pacific Ocean. B. m. indica, found in the Indian Ocean, may be another subspecies. As with other baleen whales, its diet consists almost exclusively of small crustaceans known as krill."
"Blue whales were abundant in nearly all the oceans until the beginning of the twentieth century. For over 40 years, they were hunted almost to extinction by whalers until protected by the international community in 1966. A 2002 report estimated there were 5,000 to 12,000 blue whales worldwide, located in at least five groups. More recent research into the Pygmy subspecies suggests this may be an underestimate. Before whaling, the largest population was in the Antarctic, numbering approximately 239,000 (range 202,000 to 311,000). There remain only much smaller (around 2,000) concentrations in each of the North-East Pacific, Antarctic, and Indian Ocean groups. There are two more groups in the North Atlantic, and at least two in the Southern Hemisphere."
- ^ a b c Mead, James G.; Brownell, Robert L., Jr. (16 November 2005). "Order Cetacea (pp. 723-743)". in Wilson, Don E., and Reeder, DeeAnn M., eds. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2 vols. (2142 pp.). pp. 725. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0.
- ^ Reilly, S.B., Bannister, J.L., Best, P.B., Brown, M., Brownell Jr., R.L., Butterworth, D.S., Clapham, P.J., Cooke, J., Donovan, G.P., Urbán, J. & Zerbini, A.N. (2008). Balaenoptera musculus. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 7 October 2008.
- ^ a b c d e f "American Cetacean Society Fact Sheet - Blue Whales". Retrieved 20 June 2007.
- ^ "Animal Records". Smithsonian National Zoological Park. Retrieved 2007-05-29.
- ^ "What is the biggest animal ever to exist on Earth?". How Stuff Works. Retrieved 2007-05-29.
- ^ FI - Species fact sheets. Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, Food and Agriculture Organization.
- ^ a b c Jason de Koning and Geoff Wild (1997). "Contaminant analysis of organochlorines in blubber biopsies from blue whales in the St Lawrence". Trent University. Retrieved 2007-06-29.
- ^ a b c d "Assessment and Update Status Report on the Blue Whale Balaenoptera musculus" (PDF). Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. 2002. Retrieved 2007-04-19.
- ^ a b Alex Kirby (2003-06-19). "Science seeks clues to pygmy whale". BBC News. Retrieved April 21, 2006.
- ^ a b c T.A. Branch, K. Matsuoka and T. Miyashita (2004). "Evidence for increases in Antarctic blue whales based on Bayesian modelling". Marine Mammal Science 20: 726–754. doi:10.1111/j.1748-7692.2004.tb01190.x.
Published under CC-BY-SA license from Blue Whale at Wikipedia.