Whale reproduction

From: Phillip J. Clapham (pclapham@whsun1.wh.whoi.edu)
Date: Mon Jan 15 2001 - 09:57:53 EST

You asked about whale reproduction. I dont know where you are and whether
you have access to a university library, but if you do the best thing to
get is some scoientific papers on this subject. This all depends on which
species you're interested in, but here are three on humpback whales and one
more general one:
Chittleborough, R.G. 1958. The breeding cycle of the female humpback
whale, Megaptera nodosa (Bonnaterre). Australian Journal of Marine &
Freshwater Research 9: 1-18.
Chittleborough, R.G. 1965. Dynamics of two populations of the humpback
whale, Megaptera novaeangliae (Borowski). Australian Journal of Marine &
Freshwater Research 16: 33-128.
Clapham, P.J. 1996. The social and reproductive biology of humpback
whales: an ecological perspective. Mammal Review 26: 27-49.
Lockyer, C.L.. 1984. Review of baleen whale (Mysticeti) reproduction and
implications for management. Rep. int. Whal. Commn. (Special Issue 6):
The last one is a very good review though you may have trouble finding it
and will have to get it on inter-library loan.
In terms of oestrus cycle, there's nothing known about the length of this
in any baleen whale so you won't find anything about it.
More general information on whale reproduction can be found in popular
books on whales (one of mine published in Britain by Colin Baxter Press and
called - originally enough - "Whales", talks about this).
Hope this helps.
Phil Clapham

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