Subject: Baby Killer Whales

Martine Berube (mberube@ulb.ac.be)
Tue, 19 May 1998 11:28:30 +0200 (MET DST)

After birth, the calf suckles from nipples concealed in abdominal mammary
slits. Calves nurse below water, close to the surface. The mother glides in
a horizontal position with her tail arched, and the calf swims on its
side with its mouth on the right or left mammary gland. A calf may nurse for
12 months. 
A mother killer whale stays close to her calf and attentively directs
its movements. The baby swims close to its mother and can be carried in
the mother's "slip stream," a type of hydrodynamic wake which develops
as the mother swims. This helps the baby swim with less energy and
enables the mother and calf to keep up with the pod. Calves begin to take a
few fish at about three to four months. They eat fishes such as herring or
smelt consistently at about four to five months.  The calves will stay with
their mothers for several years.
I hope this will help you with your report,
Martine




At 11.35 AM 18-05-1998 -0700, you wrote:
>hi how do killer whales raise there young I am doing a report on them
>
>
Martine Berube
Unit of Evolutionary Genetics
Department of Molecular Biology
Free University of Brussels (ULB)
CP 244
Bld du Triomphe
B-1050 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 2 650 5427
Fax: +32 2 650 5421
Email: mberube@ulb.ac.be