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Blue Whales Spotted Near Coast

World's largest animal measures up to 100 feet long and can weigh 200 tons; drawn close to area beaches by krill

 

Many of us have seen gray whales off the Sonoma Coast, but this season blue whales, the world’s largest animals, have been spotted in the area, the Press Democrat is reporting.

The mammals, measuring up to 100 feet long, are being drawn to the coast by krill, shrimp-like marine crustaceans that this season are in abundance and very close to shore. And that means more chances to see the beautiful creatures from the beach.

“It is an extraordinary whale,” said Sarah Allen, a marine biologist with the National Park Service told the Press Democrat. “Their backs go on forever and then there is this little dorsal fin, and the blow that is 10 feet tall.”

Until the start of the 20th century, whales were abundant around the world. Now they are on the endangered species list, their numbers reduced by whalers who used their meat for food and blubber for oil. Today, less than 10,000 blue whales remain.

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