Blue Whale Krill
YouTube: National Geographic

Blue Whale Swallows Massive School of Krill in One Big Gulp

The blue whale is a krill's worst nightmare.

We share our planet with many incredible species, but none may be more impressive than the blue whale. Officially the largest animal known to exist today, this mammal can reach lengths approaching 100 feet and can weigh over 200 short tons.

Despite their massive size, the world's largest creature is only a dangerous predator to the tiny crustacean known as krill. When the blue whale decides it is time to feed, their mouths open wide to capture thousands of them at once.

While the blue whale has been recorded many times feeding on krill, it is not often you get a bird's eye view of the spectacle. This drone footage shows just how large the blue whale's mouth really is, and how easily it almost engulfs an entire school of krill.

Because of their massive size, blue whales expend a ton of energy when they move to feed like this. Herding the krill into the perfect position helps up the odds they will get the most krill possible in a single gigantic bite. While this type of feeding behavior usually happens close to the surface, the whales will sometimes submerge hundreds of feet below the surface to follow their prey.

These filter feeders then use the baleen in their mouths to separate the krill from the ocean water and swallow the massive meal. The only time the blue whale picks up any speed is when it does decide to feed. The average speed for one of these great mammals is only about 1.5 miles per hour.

They usually do not need the speed either because they are usually simply too large for predators. Although orcas have been observed teaming up to hunt blue whales on rare occasions. These massive animals are truly a sight to behold and just another example of the amazing biodiversity of our world's oceans.

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