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The Life Span of a Gray Whale

The Grays are continuing to make their migration southbound along with their new born calves. In addition, to all the cute babies we’ve been spotting, this week one of our tours spotted more than 10 whales. We haven’t even entered peak season yet!!!

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There has been a lot of action the past two weeks and more to come! Since we are spotting so many mamma’s and their calves, here are some fun facts about the Gray Whale’s lifespan and their reproduction cycle.

REPRODUCTION AND LIFESPAN

The typical gestation period for a female gray whale (the period from conception to birth) lasts 13.5 months.

Most gray whales are born around mid January and are born at an average of length of 12 – 14 feet long at birth.

The baby whales are often born in shallow waters which is believed to help prevent their young from being attacked by sharks and killer whale.

After birth the baby gray whales will drink milk which is made up of over %50 fat and is produced by their mothers mammary glands.

The milk that is produced by the mother is high in nutrients in order to give the child all of the nutrition it needs to develop into a healthy young whale.

This nursing/feeding period for the baby whale lasts for about 6 – 8 months or until lactation stops.

After 8 years the young gray whales will reach sexually maturity and can begin mating and reproducing.

In terms of lifespan a healthy gray whale is estimated to an average lifespan of 50 – 70 years.

Please visit https://www.whalefacts.org/gray-whale-facts/ for more awesome facts on these magnificent mammals.

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Huge thanks to Linda for sharing these photos with us from one of our whale watching tours last week! Follow our adventures on Facebook or sign up for one of our epic Adventure Rib Rides to experience it yourself 🙂

 

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