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Mammals
Oceans
Blue Whales



Blue Whales

A Short Reader

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.45

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    spurt, strainer, baleen, underwater, hopefully, shrimp-like, skeleton, krill, whales, adult, pounds, outside, order, surface, strips, court
     content words:    Long Marine Laboratory, Santa Cruz


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Other Languages
     Spanish: La ballena azul


Blue Whales
By Erin Horner
  

1     Blue Whale skeleton outside the Long Marine Laboratory of the University of California, Santa Cruz.
 
2     I'm thinking of an animal that is really big. It is bigger than any other animal that has ever lived. It's even bigger than the dinosaurs from long ago. Not only is this animal's body huge, so is its tongue. In fact, its tongue weighs as much as an elephant! This animal is also very long. It is as long as a basketball court. Can you guess my animal? I'm thinking of a blue whale.
 
3     Blue whales are mammals that live in all of the oceans of the world. They live near the surface, but can dive up to 350 feet down in the ocean. Unlike fish, whales cannot breathe underwater. They have two blow holes on top of their bodies. They use these special holes to breathe. When a blue whale comes up to the surface to breathe, spray from its blowholes can shoot up to thirty feet in the air.

Paragraphs 4 to 5:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable



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