Happy Mother's Day!!!!!
On this special day, I wanted to share one of the most mesmerizing facts I learned during my trip to the Silver Bank Sanctuary of Dominican Republic with Conscious Breath Adventures.
Those Whale Mothers of the Silver Bank not only travel thousands of miles to give birth to their young in warmer and safer waters, but they rarely eat while in the breeding grounds.
A Mommy-Whale's focus while in the breeding grounds is primarily to nurture her baby so that it can get strong enough to migrate back to the feeding grounds with her. With that, mom may loose about ⅓ of its weight while on breeding grounds.
What could possibly drive them to such a sacrifice? A lot of it has to do with temperature.
Whales are endotherm animals (warm-blooded) and they have a fairly constant body temperature, as opposed to ectotherms. Endotherms retain their metabolic heat raising their body temperature above of the temperature of their surroundings (maintaining a core body temperature similar to ours—about 37 degrees C or 99 degrees F). On the other hand, ectotherm animals, or "cold-blooded" animals, generate metabolic heat, but this heat is quickly lost to the environment (not raising their body temperatures).
As endotherms, newborn whales would not survive if they were born in extreme cold waters as they would not be able to tolerate those temperatures until they developed the insulating blubber layer that helps them maintain body temperature. Therefore to manage those conditions and protect their newborns, pregnant whales migrate.
Fascinating! Isn't it?