California Gray Whale Calving

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What is a California Gray WhaleMigrationFeedingWhaling | BehaviorCalving

Calving

Whale Calf

The shallow lagoons of Baja California are perfect for a gray whale to have her calf. Another female gray whale, called an auntie, helps the mother when the calf is born.

When the calf is born, it is about 15 feet long and weighs about 1,500 pounds. The mother whale’s milk is 53% fat, which is 10 times richer than cow’s milk. The calf needs this fat to build up blubber for the long trip north.

Training

Whale and Calf

The calf must get in shape before the long trip north. The calf swims against the current as water flows into the lagoon. This helps develop the calf’s swimming muscles.

By the time the whales leave the lagoons the calf is about 19 feet long, and weighs about 3,000 pounds.

Additional references for the Gray Whale

Monterey Bay Whale Watch
Whale Blowing Audio

Original Authors (June 1992)

Lisa Angle – Richard Asplund – Peter Ostrander
California Polytechnic State University
San Luis Obispo, California 93407

Additional Updates and Maintenance

Revised in HTML (January 1995) – Java (July 1995)
Richard Asplund
San Luis Obispo County Office of Education
San Luis Obispo, California 93405

Converted to WordPress (November 2017)
Martin Williams
San Luis Obispo County Office of Education
San Luis Obispo, California 93405

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