Nice going, mom! Right whales break birth record

May 9, 2009
In this Feb. 2009 photo provided by the New England Aquarium, a North Atlantic right whale swims with her calf in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of the United States near the border between Florida and Georgia. Right whale births set a record in 2009, with a record 39 calves born in the spring. (AP Photo/New England Aquarium)

(AP) -- Right whales have plenty to celebrate this Mother's Day - the sea moms gave birth to a record 39 calves this spring.

The New England Aquarium said Friday that the birth surge breaks the old record of 31 and shows much improvement from 2000, when only one calf was born.

Each birthing season is important because right number fewer than 400 and are among the most endangered whales in the world.

Having a calf is no easy task for the 50-foot-long whales, who give birth off the Florida and Georgia coasts.

The moms travel nearly 1,000 miles down the East Coast to warmer waters for their babies, who weigh roughly 2,400 pounds at birth. And the moms can lose up to 30,000 pounds in the first year they are nursing.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Two whales spotted in Texas ship channel

Related Stories

Whales migrate more than 5,100 miles

April 10, 2007

U.S. scientists have found humpback whales migrate more than 5,100 miles from Central America to Antarctica -- a record mammalian migration.

Recommended for you

New method of estimating biodiversity based on tree cover

October 25, 2016

Historically, conservationists have protected species by placing large swaths of land into preserves and parks. However, only 13 percent of the world's land area is located in protected natural land. Most of the planet's ...

Microbe hunters discover iron-munching microbe

October 25, 2016

A microbe that 'eats' both methane and iron: microbiologists have long suspected its existence, but were not able to find it - until now. Researchers at Radboud University and the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology ...

Study reveals human ability to make ourselves sound bigger

October 25, 2016

Research from the University of Sussex suggests that humans are unique among primates in being able to intentionally alter the frequencies of our voices to sound larger or smaller than we really are, a capacity that is likely ...

Psychological science explores the minds of dogs

October 24, 2016

Dogs are one of the most common household pets in the world, so it's curious that we know relatively little about their cognitive abilities when we know so much about the abilities of other animals, from primates to cetaceans. ...


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet May 09, 2009
Sets a record -- since what date? Since 2000?

If possible, let's avoid Hollywood hysteria where everything seems to be some new "record". E.g., "Highest second-week unadjusted sales figures for North Canada for a new girl group."
not rated yet May 09, 2009
Most likley it a record as far back as 1937 when it became illegal to hunt them (although they were still hunted illegally on asmaller scale.) and possibly back to 1750 when major commercial hunting stopped because there were not enough left to make it economically viable to hunt them.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.