Facts About Whale Weight
Because they are the largest animal in the world, Blue Whales are usually at the top of discussions about whale weight. Because of their size, it is not always easy to get an accurate whale weight. For example, many times the weight of Blue Whales was underestimated because they were based on whales caught by commercial whalers. That meant they were not weighed whole but were weighed after they had they been cut into smaller sections. These weight estimates often fell in the range of 160 to 190 tons.
The National Marine Mammal Laboratory can accurately weigh live whales. They estimate the weight of a 98-foot Blue Whale to be 200 tons. The largest Blue Whale they have ever accurately weighed was 196 tons. That is larger than the size of any known dinosaur.
The longest whale ever recorded by whalers was found in the Antarctic and the figure set down was 110 feet, 3 inches. The second largest was 109 feet, 3 inches. The longest Blue Whale ever recorded by the National Marine Mammal Laboratory was 98 feet.
When you consider how much a Blue Whale weighs, keep in mind that its tongue alone weighs three tons or 6,000 pounds. When it opens its mouth wide to eat, it can take in 100 tons of water and food. That is 200,000 pounds. It is almost hard to believe. Blue Whale weight includes its heart, which alone weighs 1,320 pounds. That is the largest heart ever known. A Blue Whale’s aorta has a diameter of just under ten inches.
Blue Whales are not only born large, they drink enormous amounts of their mother’s milk. Whale weight starts out high and only gets higher. They can weigh three tons or 6,000 pounds at birth. Then they drink the equivalent of one hundred gallons of milk every day. At this rate, a Blue Whale gains two hundred pounds every single day.
Part of whale weight is blubber. Blubber is body fat that is stored for energy and to protect whales from cold water. On a Blue Whale, 27% of their body weight is blubber. The percentage is 23% for a Finback Whale, 29% for a Gray Whale, and the largest is up to 45% for a Right Whale. During the time they are breeding, whales rarely eat and all, and count on this body fat for sustenance.
Let’s look at the whale weight for other species: The Finback Whale weighs on average fifty tons, the Bowhead--fifty tons, the Right Whale--fifty tons, the Sperm Whale--thirty-five tons and the Humpback Whale--thirty three tons. These whales eat four percent of their body weight every day. Now you can see why whales are the largest animals on the earth.