TIMELINES: What animal, the single heaviest known to have lived on Earth, is caught March 20, 1947?

March 19, 2012 Updated: October 1, 2015
Epoch Times Photo
Museum caretaker Subhashbhai cleans the skleletal remains of a blue whale on display at The Lady Wilson Museum at Dharampur of Valsad district, some 375 kms. from Ahmedabad, on February 19, 2012. The whale, measuring some 42 feet (12.73 meters) long was found dead on the shores of Nargol village of Valsad district on October 7, 1989. (SAM PANTHAKY/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Tuesday, Mar. 20, 2012

THEN

March 20, 1947, the heaviest blue whale—according to modern science, the largest animal known to have lived on Earth—is caught in the Southern Ocean. The captured female blue whale is more than 90 feet long with a recorded weight of an astounding 190 metric tons. To compare, the largest known dinosaurs weighed about 100 tons. The average blue whale is nearly as long as a Boeing 737, up to 86 feet (26.2 meters) long. Although blue whales may be the largest known animals on Earth, they eat very small shrimp-like creatures called krill. A blue whale will consume about 5.5 million krill every day—about the weight of an adult African elephant. Blue whales can be found all over the world from the poles to the tropics.

NOW

Last month, a 59-foot whale shark weighing approximately 7 tons was reportedly found dead by fishermen in shallow waters off the Gadani coast in Balochistan, Pakistan. It took the Karachi Fish Harbor Authority (KFHA) more than four hours to lift the carcass using a 35-ton crane. National Institute of Oceanography’s biologist Dr. Hina Baig speculated that the whale shark must have become lost in the shallow waters. Dr. Hina Baig said, “Whales use eco-sounds to find their way in water and if a large ship comes in the way, they get disoriented.” The whale shark is the largest known fish currently on Earth.