Bigger than Dinosaurs
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Do you know what animal is bigger than a dinosaur? Meet the blue whale! Yes, blue whales grow bigger than dinosaurs—almost as long as two mobile homes! One blue whale can weigh as much as 28 elephants.
Whales breathe air. If you lined up gallon milk jars across one and one-half football fields, you would have enough air for one breath of a blue whale! However, God created the whale's body so that it conserves its oxygen supply. After it breathes, its blowhole snaps shut to keep water out of its lungs. Whales can surface quickly for air—a good thing.
How can a whale go so long without oxygen? Its heartbeat slows down during dives and supplies oxygen only to vital organs. God designed the whale so that it can store extra oxygen in its muscles until needed. In addition the whale tolerates more carbon dioxide in its body than people can.
Blue whales’ hearts pump a lot of blood. God gave them a massive heart—as big as a VW “bug”. A baby could crawl through its aorta, the main blood vessel.
Did you know that blue whales don’t have any teeth? We call such whales baleen whales. Horny plates called baleen hang down from the top of their mouths. With the baleen the whales gulp a big mouthful of water. They shut their mouths and strain out the water. The baleen traps tiny sea animals and plants for food. With its big tongue the blue whale pushes krill, a tiny shrimp-like creature, off the baleen and swallows them. They eat 40,000,000 krill in one day. A blue whale’s tongue can weigh as much as a full-grown African elephant. Fifty people could stand on this tongue!
Do blue whales sleep? Yes, they usually rest during the middle of the day. However, they don’t sleep for eight hours like we do, they take short naps. They float near the surface of the water and come up to breathe.
God provided these huge animals with a special method to find their way around under water. Echoes from their own sounds tell them which way to go. Blue whales can make louder noises than any other animal. Under water their voices travel as much as thousands of miles. These loud echoes may help them find mates and “talk” to other blue whales.
Sometimes a blue whale dives as deep as 350 feet and remains under water for twenty minutes. When they dive, they close their blowholes. They open them for a breath of air when they come to the surface.
Blue whales mate and give birth in warm waters where they stay until their calves (baby whales) have enough blubber to live in cold waters. The mothers gently nudge their newborn to the surface for their first breaths of air. Sometimes mother whales help each other, as newborn blue whales can be as long as a bus. The calves feed on whale milk for about seven months. Rich milk helps the baby calf grow strong for survival in Antarctic waters.
Our Creator marvelously designed these sea monsters for their life in the sea. These playful, gentle animals show God's wisdom in their design. They seem to plead, "Play with me and be gentle."
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This article was previously published by Power Station (Scripture press at Cook Publishing) in 1999. I, Lynn Wallace own the copyright.