Gray Whale Sex

We all love gray whale watching, so let learn about gray whale sex.   Who doesn’t enjoy a nice, relaxing sail out to sea, anxiously searching in anticipation for that spout to appear upon the surface of the water?  There is something so majestic about watching a marine creature of such colossal size, swim so effortlessly through the water then breach fluently through the air and slap the water as they come back down. Just amazing.

Whales are the magnificent gentle giant of the sea. While the Blue Whale is known to be the largest species of whale at 96ft., the Gray Whale comes in at a not-so-close second with their length varying from 47ft. to as much as 50 ft. for females. The gray whale received its name from its obvious coloration, gray. Many other names have been ascribed to the gray whale, including desert whale and devil fish. Couldn’t imagine why it would be given such a name as devil fish. Gray whales don’t seem to have one once of apparent evil on their face. Although, it could be because of their fierce defense they put up when hunted.

 

Gray Whale Mating Process

During the months of November and December the breeding process begins.  According to the American Cetacean Society, “Courtship and mating are complex, and frequently involve 3 or more whales at the same time”.  Spy hopping (a form of cetacean behavior that consists of rising vertically out of the water, head first, and scanning the entire surrounding area while rotating) and circling are courtship traditions that take place during early morning hours. By the afternoon time, whales divide into groups of 3, which consist of 1 female and 2 males. Both males are associated in the mating ritual, but the dominant mate will be identified by extending a single flipper, adhered motionless above the surface of the water as a signaling device. The female then advances by using graceful contact, grazing the male with her flippers until they both lye belly-to-belly. The trio will stay together for up to an hour, mating several times which can last up to two minutes, concluding with a mighty shudder. While this process takes place, the second male is on the far side of the female, forming as an aid or brace to hold her next to her mate.

 

Gray Whale Young

Gray whales spend winters mating and giving birth from January to March in the warm waters of Baja California, Mexico. Also, they are the only whale that bears their young in warm, shallow, sheltered bays and lagoons. The gestation period for gray whales is 13.5 months. Talk about a long pregnancy! How miserable a human being would be if they were pregnant for that long! Gray whales reach their sexual maturity around 5 to 11 years of age.

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“We owe it to our children to be better stewards of the environment. The alternative? – a world without whales. It’s too terrible to imagine.  Pierce Brosnan (Irish actor – born 1953)”

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