OK, here's the book you need (and it's even still in print!):
Fontaine, P-H. 1998. Whales of the North Atlantic, biology and
ecology. Editions Multi Mondes, Quebec.
Allegedly available in paperback (ISBN 2-921146-58-4). This book has
fantastic sections on anatomy, including excellent photographs. There's
a whole section on reproduction.
Lee Hollingsworth wrote:
> Phil - thanks for your prompt reply. you have given me a few points i was
> unaware of. I'm having difficulty getting hold of the book you suggested -
> as you said i might - but it does exist & i'll keep trying!! I'd like to
> ask one last favour - do you have pictures or more info on the anatomical
> design of the reproductive system?(testes, penis, ovaries etc) i'm finding
> it hard to get any pictures, even diagrams of this part of the whale
> i'm very grateful for your time, thanks again
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Phil Clapham" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> To: "Lee Hollingsworth" <Leeroybrown@tiscali.co.uk>
> Cc: "Ask2, Address" <email@example.com>; "Williamson, Mike"
> Sent: Tuesday, March 04, 2003 10:40 AM
> Subject: Blue whale reproduction
>>Let's see... there's not a huge amount on this, but here's what I know.
>>Gestation is assumed to be 11 months. Average length at birth is around
>>7 m, and calves nurse for about 6-8 months before separating. Age at
>>attainment of sexual maturity is believed to be 5 years, but this is not
>>entirely clear. Females reproduce every two to three years and produce
>>a single calf. The calving season (and therefore mating season also) is
>>in winter, though whether there is any activity outside this time is not
>>No one knows the duration of oestrus for any baleen whale. In other
>>mammals, it varies from as little as 45 minutes (e.g. deer) to as long
>>as eight days (some canids). There are zero data on oestrus in baleen
>>whales, though in some species (e.g. humpback whales) females are known
>>to cycle more than once a season; it isn't clear whether this is true
>>for blue whales.
>>The general female cycle is the same as for other mammals. Testicular
>>activity in males - in terms of production of sperm - is seasonal,
>>peaking during the winter breeding season. Blue whales have
>>comparatively small testes for their body size: the average adult male
>>has testes that weigh 70kg. if you think that's a lot, compare that
>>figure to male right whales, which despite a smaller body size have
>>testes that weigh one ton! this of course relates to the mating system
>>- right whales clearly practise sperm competition. The mating system of
>>blue whales in unknown.
>>Its worth noting that the foetal growth of blue (and fin) whales is the
>>fastest in the animal kingdom, some 20 times that of primates. Blue
>>whale foetal growth accelerates rapidly in the last few months of
>>gestation and the foetus grows at an astonishing rate.
>>The bible on this stuff remains Whales, by E.J. Slijper. Out of print
>>but still gettable (try www.bookfinder.com). It's out of date in some
>>respects but is the best book ever written on whale anatomy, function etc.
>>Other info is buried in various scientific papers, notably a review by
>>Christina Lockyer on Baleen whale reproduction (Reports of the Intl
>>Whaling Commission, Special Issue 6: 27-48, 1984).
>>hope this helps!
>>Lee Hollingsworth wrote:
>>>Hi - i'm currently studying animal management at Hadlow college, Kent
>>>and am working on a presentation on the reproductive system of the blue
>>>whale - no mean feat! I am also hoping to tavel to Tenerife to help
>>>their whale & dolphin conservation project in the summer. can you tell
>>>me how they physically reproduce, including oestrous cycle, ovarian and
>>>testicular function. i already have a lot of info on gestation, calf
>>>weight/size etc but would be very grateful for any help or
>>>info/websites/books i could be looking at.
>>>thanks very much in advance for your help
>>Phillip J. Clapham, Ph.D.
>>Large Whale Biology Program
>>Northeast Fisheries Science Center
>>166 Water Street
>>Woods Hole, MA 02543, U.S.A.
>>tel. 508 495-2316
>>fax 508 495-2066
Phillip J. Clapham, Ph.D. Large Whale Biology Program Northeast Fisheries Science Center 166 Water Street Woods Hole, MA 02543, U.S.A.
tel. 508 495-2316 fax 508 495-2066 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat Mar 08 2003 - 19:17:15 EST