Whales reproduce by going through a courtship phase and mating. The male and female position themselves belly to belly and line up their reproductive organs.
The reproductive cycle of whales begins during the winter months when they leave the feeding grounds for the warmer waters of the breeding grounds. First, males or bulls court the females or cows by singing, showing off their swimming skills and fighting each other. However, both males and females mate with several different whales over the breeding season in order to maximize the chances of reproduction.
Female whales carry their young between 10 and 17 months depending on the species. Once it is time to give birth, the females return to the mating or calving grounds. After giving birth, the calves nurse from their mothers up to 2 years, only being weaned once it can find food for itself. Even after it has been weaned, a calf usually stays with its mother for another year or two.
Whales do not reach sexual maturity until they are 8 to 10 years old and sometimes as old as 15 in some species. Sometimes these newly mature whales stay with their original pod, which is made up of family members.Learn More
Leopard seals frequently grow up to 12 feet long and weigh up to 1300 pounds, with only one predator to fear: killer whales. There are anecdotal accounts of sharks hunting leopard seals, but there are no records of this happening on a regular basis.Full Answer >
The ecological niche of the bottlenose dolphin is the role and position the species has in its environment. This includes how it meets its needs for food and shelter, how it survives, how it interacts with the biotic and abiotic factors of its environment.Full Answer >
Whales can be found in all of the world's oceans, but the specific location depends on the species of whale. Sperm whales can be found in all of the oceans of the world, for example, with male populations found primarily in the equator and polar regions, and young whales and females located mainly in temperate regions. Blue whales live off the coast of California, migrating to Costa Rica and Mexico.Full Answer >
The Delphinidae family contains 36 species of dolphins, including killer whales. Dolphins travel in groups called pods and use echolocation to navigate the ocean. They communicate with one another using distinct whistles, clicks, grunts, moans and other sounds.Full Answer >