The average gestation period for a female blue whale usually lasts 10 – 12 months once the female becomes impregnated.
The number of blue whales in the world’s oceans is only a small fraction of what it was before modern commercial whaling significantly reduced their numbers during the early 1900s, but populations are increasing globally. Along the West Coast of the United States, eastern North Pacific blue whales are believed to spend winters off of Mexico and Central America.  For Antarctic blue whales, for example, some remain year-round in the Antarctic, some remain year-round in northerly grounds, and most disperse throughout the Southern Hemisphere in the austral winter months.  In the fall they were caught on the Madagascar Plateau and sighted there in December in substantial numbers in recent decades. Other accidental or opportunistic consumption of copepods and amphipods have been documented. When blue whales hunt for food, they filter feed by swimming toward large schools of krill with their mouth open, then push the water out of their mouth with their tongue while keeping the krill trapped inside their baleen plates. .NOAA Fisheries is working to protect this species in many ways. True blue whales migrate to the Antarctic oceans to feed during summer months, but their distribution outside this period is relatively unknown. , Molecular evidence places blue whales in the Superorder Cetartiodactyla, which includes the Orders Cetacea (under which blue whales are classified) and Artiodactyla, even-toed ungulates.
This allows them to acquire the energy necessary for sustaining basic metabolic maintenance costs while storing additional energy necessary for migration and reproduction. Roughly 15,000 blue whales may have inhabited the North Atlantic before whaling began. Although once upon a time there may have been over 350,000 blue whales in our oceans, pre-industrial hunting decimated their populations and now there are only between 10,000 and 25,000 left. During their migration trips the blue whale can travel thousands of miles from one location to the next.  Although for some populations there is not enough information on current abundance trends (e.g., Pygmy blue whales), others are critically endangered (e.g., Antarctic blue whales). It has been asked: if we can’t save the largest animal with the biggest brain what hope do we have? The gentle giant of the sea, the blue whale is instantly recognisable with a long, streamlined shape, mottled blue or grey back and pale underbelly. Their average lifespan is estimated at around 80 to 90 years. It is currently unknown which sub-species (or perhaps both) occur in New Zealand waters. There are two sub-species of blue whales in the Southern Hemisphere, the Antarctic (or true) blue whale and the pygmy blue whale. , Chilean population In summer and fall, Chilean blue whales feed along the west coast of South America, particularly the Chiloense Ecoregion, including the Corcovado Gulf, Pacific and northwest coasts of Chiloé Island, and inner sea of Chiloe Archipelago. Acoustic monitoring during migrations of Australian pygmy whales in the southeastern Indian Ocean resulted in an estimate of 660–1,750 whales. 002263.
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