Record breaker

What do we know for sure about the record-breaking lives of the largest animals on Earth?

A Blue Whale skeleton

Blue whales can take in up to 457,000 calories with every mouthful of krill they eat.

These calories power their enormous bodies. In comparison, human adults need to eat about 2,000 to 2,500 calories each day - not even a snack for a blue whale.

Blue whales can weigh up to 180 tonnes, although most adults weigh between 72 and 135 tonnes.

African elephants are the heaviest land mammals, weighing between 2.5 and seven tonnes.

This enormous weight makes the blue whale the largest animal ever to have lived on Earth, heavier than even the largest dinosaurs.

The Museum’s blue whale specimen is just over 25 metres long, and it is thought it was relatively young when it died.

The Antarctic blue whale is the largest subspecies, and measures up to about 29 metres. Whalers once caught one that measured 33 metres.

Even newborn blue whales are much larger than humans, measuring between 7 and 8 metres.

Image credits:

Side view of blue whale © Andrew Sutton, / Krill swarm © Andrea Izzotti, / View of earth © sdecoret, / A blue whale diving © eco2drew,

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