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Facts about whales

Whale classification

Breeding patterns of whales

Whale migration

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Breeding patterns of whales

Whale and calf

  • External Sexual Differences
    Male sexual organ is retained in a slit, similar to female's. Genital slit on male is approximately 10% of body length from anal opening while female's appears to be continuous with anal opening.

    In certain species, males may be bigger than females but no major colour differences or body forms are noticeable.

  • Mating
    Very little is known about the exact manner in which mating takes place. Behavioral means are used to determine the sexual readiness of potential mates.

    Rolling over, slapping water with flippers are just some of the suspected signs of readiness.

  • Pre/Postnatal Development
    10 - 12 months is the usual gestation period. The process of birth is very stressful as the little one is born directly into the cold water, causing rapid loss of body heat.

    The fetus is born tail first at a rapid pace to allow the newborn to surface and take in air once the umbilical cord breaks.

    Mothers will protect their young - driving off intruders. The calf get suckled underwater - close to the surface - milk is ejected into the calf's mouth. Lactation can take from 4 month to 15 years - depending on type of whale.


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