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.Know More
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 about Marine Mammals
Right whales primarily feed upon zooplankton, a type of plankton consisting of mostly microscopic live animals. These include tiny crustaceans such as copepods and krill; pteropoda; free-swimming sea slugs and sea snails; and cyprid, which are the mobile larvae of barnacles.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 >
Beluga whales defend themselves by blending in with the polar ice caps that they swim near. For example, they often swim by large white chunks of snow in the water to hide from their main predators. They also have superb hearing and distinct voices, so they can call each other for protection. They have strong skin and fins, and their eyes have a protective substance on the cornea.Full Answer >
Whales perceive sounds in a much higher frequency than humans are able to hear, often around 120 kilohertz. Whales hear sounds as vibrations in the water around them.Full Answer >