Subject: blue whale (defense, reproduction)

Robert Kenney (rkenney@gsosun1.gso.uri.edu)
Fri, 11 Dec 1998 11:26:06 -0500

At 18:53 12/10/98 -0600, you wrote:
>how does a blue whale protect itself?                    what kind of
>offspring does the blue whale have, and what kind?
>
Probably the most important defense that a blue whale has against threats is
being big and fast.  Not many predators will be willing to attack an animal
that is 70-100 feet long.  But it is not a perfect defense.  A research crew
from Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute in California several years ago
witnessed and photographed a pack of killer whales chasing and killing a
young blue whale.  And defenses which work against natural threats are not
very effective against human threats.  Commercial whaling seriously depleted
most blue whale populations, and just this past spring we had a juvenile
blue whale on a beach just a few miles from here which had been killed by
being hit by a big ship.

Your second question is easier - a blue whale's offspring is a baby (calf)
blue whale (a baby that is up to 25 feet long on the day it is born).

Cheers,
Dr. Bob

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 | Robert D. Kenney, Ph.D.                       rkenney@gso.uri.edu |
 | University of Rhode Island                                        |
 | Graduate School of Oceanography                                   |
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