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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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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.

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