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Whale Gifts

Whale is the common name for various marine mammals of the order Cetacea. The term whale is sometimes used to refer to all cetaceans, but more often it excludes dolphins and porpoises, which are also cetaceans but belong to the suborder Odontoceti. This suborder also includes the sperm whale, killer whale, pilot whale, and beluga whale. The suborder Mysticeti (baleen whales), are filter feeders that feed on small organisms caught by straining seawater through a comblike structure found in the mouth called baleen. This suborder includes the blue whale, the humpback whale the bowhead whale and the minke whales. All Cetacea have forelimbs modified as fins, a tail with horizontal flukes, and nasal openings on top of the head.

Whale Mating Rituals

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 two years.

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.

With whales 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.




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