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.Continue Reading
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
Blue whales are oceanic animals and have been seen in every ocean. In the Northern Hemisphere, distinct populations exist near Iceland, California and in the region between Newfoundland and Greenland. In the Southern Hemisphere, the whales are often sighted in the Antarctic, and near Australia and New Zealand.Full Answer >
Killer whales, some species of sharks, Arctic wolves, polar bears, cougars, brown hyenas, various canid species and even other types of seals prey on seals. Some species of seals don't have any natural predators due to where they live or their size.Full Answer >
As one of the world's most unique whales, narwhals have many unusual adaptations, including their reliance on a specialized diet and the long, horn-like tooth of the males. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, scientists still have many questions about some of these adaptations, especially the function of the males’ long tooth. Additionally, narwhals are capable of diving to depths of nearly 5,000 feet below the surface.Full Answer >
Killer whales eat a wide range of large animals, including seals, sea lions, smaller whales, bony fish, sharks, cephalopods, sea turtles and otters. They are the apex predators of the oceans, swallowing smaller prey whole and tearing larger prey apart while facing no natural predators of their own.Full Answer >