Winter Is Coming – And So Are The Whales
The reason whales migrate is to feed and breed. During feeding the best place for whales are colder waters as food such as krill is more abundant. But when it comes to mating and breeding whales need to be in warmer waters as newborn calves are born without protective blubber and would freeze in colder waters.
Do All Whales Migrate?
The migratory patterns for different species of whales are variable. For right whales, the migration to warmer waters is usually undertaken by the pregnant female. However, in the case of Humpback whales, it is both the male and female that migrate.
How to tell what gender a whale is?
To determine the gender of a whale you need the whale to roll over onto its back. Here you will see the genital slit on their abdomen. The placement of this slit will give you a fairly accurate measure of whether the whale is male or female. For instance, the female genital slit is located close to the tail flukes or tail. Flukes are the left-hand and right-hand end of the tail. The male genital slit is located closer to their belly.
What type of whales migrates past Australia?
Over 40 species of whales will pass the eastern Australian coastline. These include Southern Right whales, Humpback whales, Minke whales, Pygmy whales, Bryde's whales and Orcas. Other mammals you can expect to see are bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins and seals.
Humpback whales are found in all the oceans around the world. They travel approximately 5000 kilometres and are considered to have the longest migratory pattern of any mammal on planet Earth. s have a wide geographic range and are found in all the world’s oceans.
Southern right whales feed in Antarctica in the summer season before they make there way up along the southern and east coastlines of Australia. Here they breed and give birth. Southern right whales can be seen as far as Hervey Bay in Queensland.