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Whales - What is a Whale?Today's featured page: Toys, Fun and Games (English/French) PICTURE DICTIONARY


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ALL ABOUT WHALES!
What is a Whale? Whale Information Sheets Anatomy and Behavior Extreme Whales Whale Myths Whale Evolution Whale Classification Whale Glossary Whale Activities Whale Index

WHALE ANATOMY AND BEHAVIOR
General Anatomy Size Pods The Senses Baleen
Reproduction Diet Flukes Sleep Offense/
Defense
Blowhole

Reproduction

Whales are mammals and are nourished in the womb through an umbilical cord (as we are). They even have a belly button after birth (this is the place where the umbilical cord used to attach).

Cetaceans are viviparous, they give birth to live young (unlike fish, most of which lay eggs). Like all mammals, whale calves are nourished with milk from their mothers.

Cetaceans breed seasonally, usually in warm tropical waters, and females usually have one calf every 1-3 years. The gestation times range from 9-18 months. Whale calves can swim at or soon after birth. Mother whales care for their young for an extended period of time, usually at least a year, feeding them milk and protecting them.


Young cetaceans are frequently mottled in color; this camouflages them from predators. Newborns have a sparse covering of hair which they lose as adults.

WHALE GESTATION PERIOD SIZE OF CALF AT BIRTH
BALEEN WHALES Blue whale 11-12 months 25 feet long (7.6 m) and weighs about 6-8 tons (5.4-7.3 tonnes)
Bowhead whale 12-16 months 17 feet long and weighs about 5-6 tons (4.5-5.4 tonnes)
Gray whale 13.5 months 15 feet long and weighs about 1-1.5 ton
Humpback whale 11-12 months 14 feet long (4.3 m) and weighs about 2.5 tons (2.3 tonnes)
Minke whale 10 months 9 feet (2.8 m) long and weighs about 1,000 pounds (454 kg)
Right whales 12 months 16-19 feet (4.8-6 m) long
TOOTHED WHALES Beluga whale 14-15 months 4-5 feet (1.2-1.5 m) long and weighs over 100-140 lbs (45-64 kg)
Narwhal 10-16 months --
Orca or killer whale 16-17 months 6.5-8 feet (2-2.5 m) long, weighing up to 400 pounds (180 kg)
Sperm whale 16 months 13 feet (4 m) long and weighs about 1 ton (0.9 tonnes)






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