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ALL ABOUT WHALES!
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|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)|
|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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