Arnason and Gullberg describe the genetic distance between a blue and a fin as about the same as that between a human and a gorilla.
The first published description of the blue whale comes from Robert Sibbald's Phalainologia Nova (1694).
In September 1692, Sibbald found a blue whale that had stranded in the Firth of Forth—a male 24 m (78 ft) long—which had "black, horny plates" and "two large apertures approaching a pyramid in shape".
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There are two more groups in the North Atlantic, and at least two in the Southern Hemisphere.
As of 2014, the Eastern North Pacific blue whale population has rebounded to nearly its pre-hunting population.
The family Balaenopteridae is believed to have diverged from the other families of the suborder Mysticeti as long ago as the middle Oligocene (28 Ma ago).
A 2002 report estimated there were 5,000 to 12,000 blue whales worldwide, There remain only much smaller (around 2,000) concentrations in each of the eastern North Pacific, Antarctic, and Indian Ocean groups.
musculus of the North Atlantic and North Pacific, B. For over a century, they were hunted almost to extinction by whalers until protected by the international community in 1966.
Blue whales were abundant in nearly all the oceans on Earth until the beginning of the twentieth century.
brevicauda (also known as the pygmy blue whale) found in the Indian Ocean and South Pacific Ocean. As with other baleen whales, its diet consists almost exclusively of small crustaceans known as krill.
It is not known when the members of those families diverged from each other.
The blue whale is usually classified as one of eight species in the genus Balaenoptera; one authority places it in a separate monotypic genus, Sibbaldus, DNA sequencing analysis indicates that the blue whale is phylogenetically closer to the sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis) and Bryde's whale (Balaenoptera brydei) than to other Balaenoptera species, and closer to the humpback whale (Megaptera) and the gray whale (Eschrichtius) than to the minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata and Balaenoptera bonaerensis).