Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus)
The Blue Whale is the largest mammal that has ever existed. It can grow longer than 33m (110ft) and weigh up to 190 tons. At least three different subspecies has been recognised; B. m. intermedia in the southern hemisphere, the slightly smaller B. m musculus in the northern hemisphere and the still smaller B. m. brevicauda (known as the Pygmy Blue Whale) which can be found in tropical areas of the southern hemisphere. Blue whales was hunted to near extinction in the beginning of the 20th century, today the population is estimated between 5000-12 000 blue whales, not anywhere near the population of around 250 000 animals before man started the horrible business that is whaling.