Blue Whale Tail: Dimensions, Strength, Weight, Uses, And Facts


The majestic blue whales have a greyish-blue tone to their body color and are the largest mammal/ whale on earth. Blue whales are identified by their body color, flukes, and small dorsal fins. 

Blue whales possess tails, which enable them to swim and control their movements underwater. A blue whale tail is straight and has a split at the end in two robbery lobes, known as flukes. Their tail assists blue whales in propelling their long and slender body underwater. 

Blue Whale Tail
Image Credit: Blue Whale from Maxpixel

Just like the mammal itself, its tail also holds much fascination. And in this post, we will be dissecting the tail of the blue whale by focusing on aspects like its size, weight, strength, and other associated facts. 

So, let’s dive into the deepest corner of the ocean to unearth the facts!

What is the tail of a blue whale called?

Like other fish species, whales also possess a tail, which we sometimes can see when they breach the water. Does this part of their anatomy have any other name?

Blue whales have a tail fin, otherwise known as the caudal fin. The straight tail fin of these gentle giants points outward and splits at the end into two flukes with a rubbery texture. Blue whale tail flukes play a significant role in their identification. 

For whale enthusiasts, watching a blue whale breaching water is a dream. However, there are lesser chances that we can see them raising their flukes over the water’s surface. Instead, we commonly can see their long back and small dorsal fin. 

Blue whale tail dimensions

Image Credit: Blue Whale Tail Fluke Diving by Mike Baird (CC BY 2.0) from Wikimedia

A blue whale can grow to a maximum of 100 feet (average), undoubtedly huge. Hence, exploring how long its tail can grow will be interesting.

A blue whale’s tail fin can grow as wide as 25 feet or 7.5 meters. Therefore, this site is pretty legible as it is necessary to accommodate the body of these massive mammals and assist them in pushing themselves forward in the water.

We can compare the breadth of a blue whale tail fluke (from tip to tip) to the width of a soccer goal to make it easier to understand. The goal post width is usually 24 feet. As a result, the tail of a blue whale is wider than a soccer goal post.

Blue whale tail strength

Baleen whales are the world’s largest mammals as well as whale species. Moreover, they can measure enormous size and weight, implying that they are enormously powerful.

Blue whales’ tails can push their body weight of roughly 30 tonnes in just 1-2 strokes when breaching. Compared to any other species on the planet, their tail produces absolute force. That said, a blue whale can generate an overwhelming strength of 60 kilonewtons (1 kilonewtons = 1,000 kg).

The whale’s tail fin can move with such force because of two big muscle groups near its tail. They use the epaxial muscles (for the upstroke) and the hypaxial muscles (for the downstroke).

How much does a blue whale’s tail weigh?

Image Credit: Blue whale from Piqsels

Have you ever wondered how much the tail of a blue whale weighs? Let’s shed some light on it.

There is no clear information on exactly how much a blue whale tail will weigh. However, because their tail makes up about a quarter of their total body size, it is thought to weigh roughly 33.75 tonnes, putting their total body weight at 135 tonnes. 

How long is a blue whale’s tail fin?

Although blue whales are rare to be seen on the water surface, the best time to look at their tail is while they breach. They can 

The tail of a blue whale is straight that can make up to 1/4 of body length. Hence, if the average length of a blue whale is taken as 30 meters, its tail is likely to be 7.5 meters long (approx.). The skin their smooth with a blue-grey, mottled look. 

What does a blue whale use its tail for?

Image Credit: Whales foraging from Piqsels

Tails in different animals serve different purposes. In the same way, a tail fin in blue whales serves a specific purpose. Let’s explore.

Blue whales usually move forward underwater by using their tail. Because these mammals’ bodies are so large, a big and heavy tail is required to keep the body moving and cutting through the water. Another application could be to frighten predators. Blue whales can also breach the water with the stroke of their tails.

Why does blue whale slap their tail?

There are times when whale watchers can watch whales breaching the water and slapping the water surface with their tails. But why do they do so?

Blue whales primarily slap their tail against the water surface to communicate with other whales. The process is known as lobtailing and is mainly observed during the mating season. Lobtailing is also done to threaten the predators as a defending act.

It depends on the force of the tail slap ‌experts can decipher what the whale is trying to communicate. That said, experts have also witnessed two whales gently slapping the water with their tails together, indicating possible courtship. 

Summary

So that brings us to the end of our blue whale tail post. Blue whales are massive creatures rarely seen on or above the ocean’s surface. When they breach the water, however, their tail assists them, and it is a spectacular sight to watch.

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