Two species of Blue Whale have been recorded in Sri Lanka waters, Balaenoptera musculus brevicauda and indica ? Blue whales are the largest animals ever known to have existed on earth; yes no dinosaur ever found so far is bigger than the blue whale! These splendid marine mammals belong to a suborder of baleen whales, and roam the oceans at up to 100 feet (30 meters) long and upwards of 200 tons. Their tongues alone can weigh as much as an elephant, and hearts, as much as a Volkswagen beetle automobile. Blue whales reach these mind-boggling dimensions on a diet composed nearly exclusively of tiny shrimplike animals called krill. During certain times of the year, a single adult blue whale consumes about 4 tons (3.6 metric tons) of krill a day.
The blue whale observation in Sri Lanka is quite easy, as Sri Lanka’s southern tip lies quite close to the continental shelf with nothing between it and Antarctica, 10,000 miles away, nowhere have they been observed so close to land. This makes Sri Lanka a hotspot for scientists, marine biologists and nature lovers who study blue whale populations around the world. So far three distinct species have been identified and the Sri Lankan blue whale species are known as pygmy blue whales (Baleanoptera musculus brevicauda) but another sub species (Baleanoptera musculus indica) of blue whales are also found around the waters of Sri Lanka.