Re:

From: Cathy Schaeff (schaeff@american.edu)
Date: Wed Feb 19 2003 - 14:05:30 EST

  • Next message: Cathy Schaeff: "Body warmth in whales"

    Hi Katharyn,

    Blue whales are, of course, the largest of the whale species. However,
    right whales actually have the largest testicles, proportionately by body
    mass (blue whales' pair of testes weigh about 26 kg - right whales, which
    are about half the size, have testes weighing about one ton). Given this, I
    don't think that you could have heard correctly re: the mass of sperm
    ejaculated although whales ARE promiscuous and so one of the males'
    strategies is sperm competition -- each male tries to flush out the previous
    male's sperm and deposit their own. Given this strategy, volume is important
    as well as number of actual sperm. Sorry to not be of more help. You can
    search the rest of whalenet and see if anyone else has said anything about
    it (http://whale.wheelock.edu/howtofind.html).

    Cath Schaeff
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Warriner, Katharyn Houston"
    <Katharyn.Warriner2@thales-geosolutions.com>
    To: <schaeff@american.edu>
    Sent: Tuesday, February 18, 2003 5:00 PM

    > Ms. Schaeff,
    >
    > I was hoping that perhaps you could clarify a statement made by a narrator
    > of a PBS program on aquatic/marine animals. The narrator was speaking in
    > reference to the Blue Whale's mating habits specifically with regard to
    the
    > amount of ejaculate dispensed in one mating attempt between a bull and a
    > cow. The figure quoted was 3 tons. This seems a bit much, even if the
    Blue
    > Whale is the biggest marine animal in existence. I've searched on the PBS
    > site for clarification, but have had no luck. Other searches have yielded
    > little clarification as well.
    > I'm afraid my "quest for knowledge" has no other purpose than to put my
    mind
    > at ease. I can't help but to think that I possibly heard the man wrong
    and
    > he meant 3kg or some other reasonable figure. If it is in-fact, three
    tons,
    > how potent is the sample? And how often can a male mate if the output is
    > that large? I was hoping that perhaps you had some data on this and could
    > forward it along. If not a real figure, then at least an estimation. 3
    > tons just can't be right. Thank you for your help,
    >
    > Katharyn Warriner
    >
    >
    >
    >
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