Subject: Whale Longevity

Phil Colla (
Sun, 15 Feb 1998 15:51:47 -0800

>           How long do Whales live ?

That's a tough question, because we have not been studying whales for
very long.  We would need to study whales for at least a generation to
get a good estimate of how long they live.

Estimates range from 15-30 years for some of the smaller dolphins
to 40-80 years for larger whales.  In one recent paper, a researcher
described the discovery of an old-fashioned whaling harpoon tip in
a northern right whale.  The local community, some of whom were old
enough to remember when such harpoon tips were made, claimed that the
harpoon tip style had not been used for perhaps 70 years, which means the
whale was at least that old when it was found.

Phil Colla

Phillip Colla                
Humpback Whales: