The first step for having a Calf
Male whales are mature between 7 and 10 years of age. They have a cavity that their genitals remain in during
resting and swimming so there isn’t a great deal that is known about them in great deal. For females maturity
occurs about 5 to 7 years of age. A female that is mature will generally have a new calf every 2 or 3 years.
Females often have many partners during the mating season so it is highly likely that she will conceive. Since she
will only have one baby and then nurse it for a full year, the rate of reproduction is less than with many other
forms of aquatic life. However, young whales tend to have a very good chance of surviving to their own maturity.
The fact that the only predators that whales have are humans also helps with their survival rate.
A female that is mature will generally have
a new calf every 2 or 3 years.
Generally the pods of whales are relaxed and friendly in nature. However, when it is mating season the
males will be competing for the females. As a result there can be a great deal of tension that develops
within a pod during that period of time. They may battle each other for the right to mate with a given female.
However, there is usually no real harm done to each other and death very rarely occurs. The goal is to determine
who is stronger as that whale will get the chance to mate first.
Female whales are very receptive to the courtship from the males during the mating season. They love the songs
and the calls that they get. They also enjoy the touching that is very soft and even what many view as caressing
during this period of time. However, after a male will mate with the female he is likely to go off and take care of
other business. The females long for that type of interaction again which is why they are more willing to mate
again and again with different males.
During this mating season you will also hear changes in the calls and communications among the whales. Part of that
change has to do with the fact that there is so much stress involved in the group. The rest of it has to do with
mating calls. You will often find that males will come to other pods for the chance to mate with their females.
This definitely helps to reduce inbreeding among these mammals as well.
All whale calves are born live. As whales are mammals, calves grow inside their mothers.
The calves are born with their fins emerging first. The offspring are born during the migration process in most
instances. Since the gestation period ranges from 10 to 16 months, it will depend on the type of whale you are
looking at. It will also depend on how far they migrate and what their migration time frame is.
The gestation period ranges from 10 to 16 months,
depending on the species of whale.
The size of a whale calf will depend on the species and the size of the mother. A general guideline is that the
calf will be about a quarter of the mother's length. This can mean some of the larger offspring such as those from
Blue Whales will be bigger at birth than other whales will be when they are fully mature.
While whales don’t reproduce early in life, the often live a very long and healthy life. Research shows that
whales can have a life span between 40 and 100 years. That is significantly longer than most other forms of aquatic
life out there. They are classified as mammals based upon how they reproduce, the fact that they have live young,
and the mother’s nurse the babies.