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30 Metre Blue Whales Sighted in Kenya

Observations of blue whales, the largest animal on Earth, larger than dinosaurs, were made in Kenyan offshore waters in 2014 - 15. These represent the first live at-sea sightings of blue whales reported from Kenyan waters.

Larger than dinosaurs, the blue whale Balaenoptera musculus is the largest animal to have lived on Earth, reaching lengths of greater than 30 m. Following extensive exploitation during the 20th century, numbers were reduced dramatically and now stand at 3 -11% of the estimated population in 1911 the species being listed as "Endangered" on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

Kenya has now reported sighting these magnificant marine mammals off Kenya. All 30 sightings occurred between September and October in waters ranging from 2,990 to 4,705 m depth. It is unknown to which of the three possible subspecies the animals sighted belong. Based on timing and geographical location, they are likely to have been either Antarctic blue whales Balaenoptera musculus intermedia, Madagascar pygmy blue whales B. m. brevicauda or northern Indian Ocean blue whales B. m. indica. For more information about the sightings please see Blue whales Balaenoptera musculus in offshore waters of Kenya by R Barbera, I Sikoraa & M Nimak-Wood

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