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Whale milk is rich in nutrients. How many pounds can a baby whale gain in a day

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By Brian Wong Published 4 months ago 3 min read

The largest milk-producing whale in the world is undoubtedly the whale. An adult female whale can produce up to 570 liters of milk every day during the lactation period. Whale babies can gain 100 pounds in one day of feeding. So how do they breastfeed in the water? Woolen cloth?

Colombian scientists released rare footage captured last year: a mother humpback whale suckling her baby underwater by squirting her milk into its mouth. Throughout the whole process, the mother humpback whale showed a gentleness that was completely different from her huge size. The baby humpback whale swam away after sucking the milk in the water. The picture also showed that there was still residual milk in the ocean. .

This precious picture not only made the world feel the mother's tenderness, but also attracted the attention and research of scientists: How is such a breastfeeding process accomplished? How much milk does a humpback whale baby need to eat a day to fill its belly?

The protagonist is the "lark of the ocean" - the humpback whale. Because their dorsal fins are small, short, uneven, and curved like a curve, this is also the origin of their name.

It is well-deserved to say that they are the "larks of the sea" because scientists have observed their voices and found that their songs are cadenced and even interlaced regularly, so they can be enjoyed as music. This is what makes them unique among whales.

Although the humpback whale is not the largest species in the whale world, it is still a giant. Humpback whales are generally about 13 to 14 meters long and weigh about 25 to 30 tons. Female humpback whales are slightly larger than male whales.

Records show that the largest humpback whale can even be 18 meters long and weigh up to 40 tons.

So how does such a behemoth feed its own child?

Humpback whales are mammals. Mammals have three major characteristics: lactation, constant temperature, and body hair. This means that although humpback whales have no body hair, their calves can only eat breast milk for a period of time after they are born. So here comes the question. Whales live in the ocean all year round. If they want to drink milk, won’t the milk be diluted by mixing with sea water, and even become salty and unpalatable? Moreover, the surface of the whale is smooth and there are no nipples. How do baby whales drink milk?

In fact, humpback whales also have nipples, but they are not obvious. Under their bodies, there is a genital cleft, and there is a thin slit on either side of the cleft, which is where the nipples are. The nipples that produce food are hidden here and are an important organ used to breastfeed humpback whale babies.

Because humpback whales move in the sea, it is very inconvenient to breastfeed. Therefore, the mother humpback whale will approach the water and swim slowly when she wants to feed, while the baby humpback whale will follow behind the mother and use its tongue to wrap around the nipple protruding from the cleavage to form a closed state.

When the baby humpback whale is ready, the mother humpback whale will spray milk into the baby's mouth, and the baby can then suck the milk.

It is said that a humpback whale mother can spray about 10 liters of milk at a time, allowing the humpback whale baby to drink enough in one go.

Because humpback whales are small in their infancy and receive less nutrients, they are easily preyed upon. At this time, it needs to drink more milk quickly to grow up and avoid attacks.

The milk of humpback whale mothers also contains a large number of elements and is one of the most nutritious substances in the world. Therefore, humpback whale babies need a large amount of milk provided by their mothers to thrive. It is said that they need to drink 600 liters of milk a day to supplement their nutrition.

Nature

About the Creator

Brian Wong

Hello, I'm Brian Wong , a 29-year-old aspiring writer dedicated to weaving captivating stories that resonate with the depths of human experience.

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    Brian Wong Written by Brian Wong

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