The Most Fat Animal in the World

You may think the fattest animal in the world would be the elephant, but you’d be wrong. While elephants do have plenty of fat, they have nowhere near as much as the right contender… Blue whales!

In fact, whales are often referred to as fat mammals because they can have up to 39% body fat. That helps them survive when food is scarce. Their blubber layers act as an insulator and can even reach 3 inches thick at times! However, what puts them over the top in terms of the fattest animal in the world is their head.

Blue whales: World’s Most Fat Animal

The blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) is both a marine mammal and a baleen whale. They are the world’s largest creatures, weighing up to 200 tons (approximately 33 elephants). There are only an estimated 25,000 blue whales left in the world, making them an endangered species.

The blue whale is one of the most beautiful and graceful animals in the world. The creature is bigger, louder, longer, and heavier than any other animal.

NameAntarctic blue whale
Common NameBlue Whale
Scientific Name Balaenopteras musculus
WeightUp to 200 Tons
Body Fatmore than 35%
TypeMammals
Average Life Span80 years to 100 years
Size82 to 105 feet

Unlike other rorqual whales, blue whales have a wide, U-shaped head that is more tapered and elongated. And despite their name, the body is not completely blue. A more accurate description would be “greyish blue” or “grayish-white”. Besides, some has has yellow-brown patches on their skin.

Blue whale food

The blue whale is known for its voracious hunger. Whales are at the top of the food chain and play a critical part in the marine ecosystem. In order to satisfy their hunger, their stomach is capable of storing a ton of krill at once. They consume 5,000 pounds of food every day.

In addition, it requires around four tons of krill every day to sustain itself. As much as six tons of krill may be consumed by the largest people per day.

Blue whales filter feed by swimming toward enormous groups of krill with their mouths open and moving toward them while expanding their throat pleats. After closing their mouths, blue whales use their tongues to force the trapped water out and their baleen plates to keep the prey locked inside. They may swallow up to 100 tons of water and krill at that time.

Luckily, whales don’t need to eat as often as other sea creatures because their bodies store energy for when food isn’t readily available.

  • Krill
  • Zooplankton
  • Fish
  • Copepods
  • Amphipods

How Much Does It Weigh?

The blue whale is considered to be one of the largest animals to have ever existed on earth. There is a noticeable difference in size between Antarctic blue whales and other blue whale subspecies. It can grow up to 100 feet long and weigh up to 200 tons (According to National Geographic).

As a height increases, so does their weight. In 1909, a female blue whale was measured in South Atlantic, South Georgia to be the world’s longest blue whale. It measured 110 feet and 17 inches in length.

The enormous size of the blue whale has been traced back to two distinct factors. The blue whale is an ocean inhabitant. Over 70% of Earth’s surface is covered by the water, which gives whales enough area to expand and thrive.

However, seasonal weight gain is evident in the muscles, followed by the fat, and not so much in the bones and internal organs.

According to the BBC, the blue whale is the land and marine mammal with the highest amount of body fat. Another research shows that body fat can be 39% of its weight.

However, the thickness of the blubber ranged from 43.0 to 168.0 mm, while the lipid fat content varied from 16.19 to 89.34 percent. Blubber coats make them seem larger than they are. It acts as an insulator, keeping them warm in frigid waters.

Where Can You See This Fat Creature?

This huge animal is calm and shy. Whales, it turns out, are an endangered species. Six out of the thirteen amazing whale species are categorized as endangered or vulnerable. However, you can find them in all of the world’s major oceans.

Blue whales may be observed routinely in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and off the beaches of Monterey, California, and Baja California, Mexico in the Northern Hemisphere. When eating and moving, blue whales swim at roughly 5 miles per hour but may accelerate to more than 20 miles per hour for brief bursts.

Resources:

  1. BBC
  2. https://www.icrwhale.org/pdf/SC004184-209.pdf
  3. https://spo.nmfs.noaa.gov/sites/default/files/pdf-content/MFR/mfr464/mfr4644.pdf
  4. https://acs.memberclicks.net/assets/597044458cfbc1145e7a0bb1b0e8113e.pdf

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