Humpback whale size

From: Kim Marshall-Tilas (
Date: Sun Dec 17 2000 - 11:39:51 EST


>Are there any deffinate physical or sexually differences between male and
>female humpback whales?

In general, female baleen whales are 1-2 meters longer than the males.
> Can you describe the life cycle of a humpback whale including the embryonic
>development,birth,growth,maturation,decline and death.
> Pregnancy occurs during the autumn migration or in the winter
>breeding grounds and gestation is approximately one year long. The
>fetus in baleen whales grows faster than any other mammal
>particularly in the later stages. Lactation lasts anywhere from
>4-12 months depending on the species and calves gain 4-8 times their
>body weight in this time. Females can not ovulate during the
>lactation period so it is believed that there is a 2-3 three
>interval period between calves. Sexual maturity is believed to be
>at 4-5 years of age. Age of death is estimated at 30-60 years of
>age. Years of life are determined by counting the light and dark
>layers in the ear plugs of dead baleen whales.

Happy holidays!

Kim Marshall-Tilas
Senior Director
Ocean Alliance/Whale Conservation Institute
191 Weston Road, Lincoln, MA  01773
781.259.0423 or fax 259.0288

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