The biggest mammal ever is the blue whale. The heaviest ever recorded weighed 190 metric tons (210 short tons). The whale was 30 m (98 ft) long. However, it is widely known that whales can reach lengths of 33 meters (108 ft) and weigh 180 metric tons (200 short tons).
Early estimates of whale size were inaccurate. This is because the animal was cut into smaller parts to make it manageable. This resulted in imprecise figures.
Today, researchers believe that whales are 27 meters (89 ft) long on average. The typical weight is 150–170 metric tons (170–190 short tons). According to the American National Marine Mammal Laboratory (NMML), a 30 meter (98 ft) long whale weighs 180 metric tons (200 short tons).
The most precise whale that the NMML was able to weigh was a female whale. It tipped the scales at 177 metric tons (195 short tons).
Whales and Dinosaurs
The blue whale is not just the biggest mammal ever. It is believed to be the largest animal to have ever existed. The biggest known dinosaur is the Argentinosaurus. It lived during the Mesozoic Era and weighed around 90 metric tons (99 short tons).
However, some scientists believe the Amphicoelias fragillimus may have weighed as much as 122 metric tons (134 short tons). It could have also reached lengths of 40–60 meters (130–200 ft).
The Bruhathkayosaurus may have weighed more than the blue whale at 140–220 metric tons (150–240 short tons). Its length may have reached 45 meters (148 ft).
The Leedsichthys fish may have also been as large as the blue whale. However, it is extremely difficult to determine a dinosaur’s size due to the fragmented remains. For this reason, comparison with the blue whale is difficult.
Other Information about the Blue Whale
The tongue of a blue whale weighs 2.7 metric tons (3.0 short tons). It is capable of holding 90 metric tons (99 short tons) of water and food. Despite that, its throat size does not allow it to swallow anything bigger than a beach ball. The aorta measures 23 centimeters (9.1 in) in diameter. Its heart weighs 600 kilograms (1,300 lb). Its heart is the largest for any animal.
The biggest mammal ever weighs 2,700 kilograms (6,000 lb) at birth. This is equal to an adult hippopotamus. The blue whale adds 90 kilograms (200 lb) daily. This is made possible as it drinks 400 liters (100 U.S. gallons) of milk every day.