Actually...I did find some conflicing information regarding the age at which
Minke Whales hit sexual maturity. I found two sources: one said 2 years
(www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/whales/species/Minke.shtml ) and another
said it was at the age of 7 (http://www.abdn.ac.uk/mammal/minke.htm). Which
do you think is correct?? Thanks!
Good question, and this goes nicely with what I tell people about being
careful about where you look for information. My gut instinct, without even
looking up the answer, would've been to go with the higher number. Whales
take a long term to mature (large animals typically take much longer to
mature than smaller ones), so two years wouldn't be possible at all. I
double-checked the answer with the _Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals_
published by W.F. Perrin et al. in 2002 by Academic Press in San Diego. The
answer is that sexual maturity has been estimated at about 7 years in males
and 6 years in females. And wow oh wow, did you know that females are
pregnant for 10 months (compared to 9 months for humans). Females nurse
their calves for 45 months (that's well over 3 years!!).
Oh, back to my comment about the credibility of different sources. Without
opening the links, I could tell you that the second (with the right answer)
is a university that has marine mammal scientists working there. The other
site does not. Way to go on finding the discrepancies! I know from
experience it's sometimes hard to figure out what source has the right
Let me know if you have any other questions.
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