With whales mating rituals, breeding seasons can vary
from variety to variety. Some varieties seem to have
no breeding season at all.
The whales mating rituals are a competition between
male whales, known as bulls, during the mating season
which is challenging. Ultimately the female makes the
decision on which bull she mates with. Her decision
is important because health and strength determines
that of her calf. Whales only mate once every two years.
Traveling in pods, and normally to the tropics, for
large class whales, where the mating and birthing will
occur, bulls search for the female pods. There is singing
and sometimes fighting trying to gain attention of the
females. As it happens, whales only mate once every
Generally, the songs that they sing are 10-20 minutes
in length. Whales are known to sing the same song for
hours at a time. Singing songs of love, in an attempt
to when over a female, males use rhyming verses. They
will also add to or change the song to outshine the
competition. Clicks and squeaks make up these songs.
Some whales have tusks and will use them, in battle,
to earn the females attention. These whales are known
as Narwhal whales. They have tusk that protrudes from
their top lip. Females and calves evacuate the surrounding
area to avoid injury.
Whales mate belly to belly; however, first they get
to know each other. The dating period can last as long
as it takes for the whales to become comfortable with
each other. Touching each other, posing, swimming in
patterns and singing are part of the process.
After the mating ritual has ended, some whales leave
and some stay. Those that leave return to the group
of males they travel with. Those that stay protect the
female and calf and form a family unit.
mating rituals, breeding seasons can vary from variety
to variety. Some varieties seem to have no breeding
season at all.
About the Author
In his studies of whales
one feature that has always fascinated Jan van Nickerk
is the whales mating rituals.