Subject: Whale births tail first

Tokitae (
Wed, 7 Jan 1998 15:57:33 -0500 (EST)

You asked: Why are baby whales born tail first?

I am not familiar with any detailed scientific explanation for the fact that
baby whales are usually born tail first. I would guess that by having the
head come out last, the blowhole is not exposed to the water until last.
That way, if the birth is delayed there is less chance that the calf will
inhale while it is still under water and drown before it is completely out
of the mother's womb. There seems to always be an escort whale along with
the mother during every birth, possibly in part to make sure the baby gets
to the surface immediately before breathing.
Howard Garrett
Lolita Project

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