Featured Image Credit: GrindTV
It may come as a surprise that the largest creature on the planet consumes the tiniest of creatures in the ocean. The blue whale measures about 100 feet and can weigh as much as 200 tons. These gentle giants feed only on tiny, shrimp-like krill that generally measure in at a measly 1-2 centimeters.
Even though these marine mammals are larger than most whales, their bodies are slim and sleek, allowing them to reach up to speeds of 25 miles per hour or more when threatened or startled. However the average traveling speed of a blue whale remains closer to five miles per hour.
Scientists off of New Zealand recently captured this spectacular behavior of “lunge-feeding” by a blue whale from overhead using drones. The blue whale approaches and devours an entire patch of krill in just one gulp!
Lunge-feeding is mostly witnessed by boats, but an aerial view reveals the entire process of the blue whale. It turns on its side, slowing up while opening its mouth and then lunging ferociously through the patch of krill. When it comes to feeding, the blue whale can consume as many as 40 million krill per day, which ends up weighing closely to 8,000 pounds of food on a daily basis!