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weigh as much as a car, up to 2,000 pounds! They are born able to swim, and just as the mother's

gestation period is about a year, the calf will also nurse with the mother for the following year. It

will take the mother from one to three years before she has built up the energy to become

pregnant again, sometimes it can take up to five years before she is ready.

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Unlike some other sea creatures who can have hundreds of babies at a time, The Northern

Right Whale only has one. That is why the population is only able to grow slowly, and why we

must care as much as possible for the new ones that come into the world. On average, a female

Right Whale is ready to start breeding when she is around eight years old. If she can only have

one baby about every three years and she can grow to be 50 years old, that means in her whole

lifetime she would be able to have fourteen babies. It is very unlikely that a female would be able

to have that many babies in her lifetime these days because there are so many dangers that they

have to overcome to be able to live their entire lifetime. That is why the population of this

beautiful animal was dwindling and is in a static state of recovery at this point in time.

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The systems that allow us to track these beautiful animals enable researchers to monitor

migration patterns, which females have given birth, how they relate to each other, and which

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17 http://www.whoi.edu/media/cow_calf.html.