Sperm whales of the Southeast Pacific. Part VII. Reproduction and growth in the female
Keywords:Sperm Whale, Physeter catodon, Growth, Reproduction, Female
AbstractThis report on the reproduction and growth of the female sperm whale Physeter catodon is Part VII of our work on this whale in the Southeast Pacific. There were 1105 female sperm whales in our sample collected from two whaling stations in Chile and two in Peru. Since Clarke and Paliza (1972) have shown that they belonged to a single stock, we have worked them together. A second Graafian follicle develops more than the others in each ovary so to improve the possibility of fertilization in case the first ovum fails to be impregnated. We consider the size of the Graafian follicle at, or near, ovulation to be around 100mm, larger than what has been found in sperm whales from other seas. The corpus luteum of pregnancy is significantly larger than the corpus luteum of ovulation. The corpus albicans reduces in size throughout the life of the whale and probably does not disappear. There is a highly significant correlation between the total number of corpora and age: therefore we use the number of corpora as an indication of age. The corpora atretica are more frequent in older female sperm whales reflecting less fertility in this group. The sexual cycle in sperm whales of the Southeast Pacific has been revised to last 4yrs. Sexual maturity in female sperm whales is attained at 8.2m long and 6.5yrs of age, being both values lower than in sperm whales from other seas. The female sperm whale is born at 3.90m. The incidence of twins, 0.91%, is higher than in other seas. Fertility is low in very young whales (1-2 ovarian corpora) and it is at its lowest in the older group (over 12 corpora). The highest fertility is when females have 3-10 ovarian corpora and they are 15 to 35yrs old. The proportion of active females in pre oestrus during the months of pairing is significantly higher than during the other months. Accessory ovulations during oestrus are represented by the small groups of lactating-and-recently ovulated and lactating-and-pregnant whales. Unsuccessful ovulations are more frequent in late lactation and late resting periods, being post-partum ovulation rare. Female sperm whales in the Southeast Pacific may ovulate up to four and possibly five times during an oestrus. Physical maturity is attained at 11.2m long and 33.5yrs old. Fusion of the vertebrae begins at both ends of the vertebral column and finishes between the posterior thoracic and the lumbar vertebrae. Female sperm whales of the Southeast Pacific may live, at least, up to 50yrs of age. The age at recruitment between 1959 and 1962 was 20-21yrs of age when they had accumulated 4–5 corpora in their ovaries.
Anonymous (1954) Whaling and Fishing in the Southern Pacific. Norsk Hvalfangst-Tidende 43: 689-706.
Bannister, J.L. (1969) The biology and status of the sperm whale off Western Australia – an extended summary of the results of recent work. Reports of the International Whaling Commission 19: 70-76.
Beale, T. (1839) The Natural History of the Sperm Whale… to which is added a Sketch of a South-Sea Whaling Voyage… London, John Van Voorst, 393 pp.
Berzin, A.A. (1964) Rate of growth of sperm whale in the north-western Pacific. Trudy Vsesoyuznogo Nauchno-Issledovatel Institut Mordovskogo Rybnogo Khozyaistva i Okeanografii 53: 271-275. (In Russian).
Berzin, A.A. (1978) Whale distribution in Tropical Eastern Pacific waters. Reports of the International Whaling Commission 28: 173-177.
Best, P.B. (1967) The sperm whale (Physeter catodon) off the west coast of South Africa. 1. Ovarian changes and their significance. Investigational Reports of the Division of Sea Fisheries, South Africa 61: 1-27.
Best, P.B. (1968) The sperm whale (Physeter catodon) off the west coast of South Africa. 2. Reproduction in the female. Investigational Reports of the Division of Sea Fisheries, South Africa 66: 1-32.
Best, P.B. (1970) The sperm whale (Physeter catodon) off the west coast of South Africa. 5. Age, growth and mortality. Investigational Reports of the Division of Sea Fisheries, South Africa 79: 1-27.
Best, P.B., Canham, P.A.S. and Macleod, N. (1984) Patterns of Reproduction in Sperm Whales, Physeter macrocephalus. Reports of the International Whaling Commission (Special Issue 6): 51-79.
Chittleborough, R.G. (1954) Studies on the ovaries of the humpback whale, Megaptera nodosa (Bonnaterre), on the western Australian coast. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 5 (1): 35-63. http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF9540035
Chuzhakina, E.S. (1955) The reproductive cycle of the sperm whale. Trudy Instituto Okeanologii Akademii Nauk Moskva SSSR 18: 1-95.
Chuzhakina, E.S. (1961) Morfologichescaya kharakteristica yaichnikov samok kashalota (Physeter catodon, L., 1758) v svyazi opredeleniem vozrasta. Trudy Instituto Morfologii Zhivotnykh Akademya Nauk SSSR. 34: 33-53. Consulted in translation NIOT/81 of the National Institute of Oceanography, U.K.: Morphological characteristics of the ovaries of the female sperm whale (Physeter catodon, L., 1758) in connection with age determination.
Clarke, R. (1956) Sperm whales of the Azores. Discovery Reports 28: 237-298.
Clarke, R., Aguayo L., A. and Paliza, O. (1964). Progress report on sperm whale research in the Southeast Pacific Ocean. Norsk Hvalfangst-Tidende 53: 297-302.
Clarke, R., Aguayo L., A. and Paliza, O. (1968). Sperm whales of the Southeast Pacific. Part I: Introduction. Part II: Size range, external characters and teeth. Hvalrådet Skrifter 51: 1-80.
Clarke, R. and Paliza, O. (1972). Sperm whales of the Southeast Pacific. Part III: Morphometry. Hvalrådet Skrifter 53: 1-106.
Clarke, R., Paliza, O. and Aguayo L., A. (1980). Some parameters and an estimate of the exploited stock of sperm whales in the Southeast Pacific between 1959 and 1961. Reports of the International Whaling Commission 30: 289-305.
Clarke, R., Paliza, O. and Aguayo L., A. (1988). Sperm whales of the Southeast Pacific. Part IV. Fatness, food and feeding. Investigations on Cetacea 21: 53-195.
Clarke, R. and Paliza, O. (1994). Sperm whales of the Southeast Pacific. Part V. The dorsal fin callus. Investigations on Cetacea 25: 9-91.
Clarke, R., Paliza, O. and Aguayo L., A. (1994). Sperm whales of the Southeast Pacific. Part VI. Growth and breeding in the male. Investigations on Cetacea 25: 93-224.
Colnett, J. (1798) A Voyage to the South Atlantic and round Cape Horn into the Pacific Ocean for the purpose of extending the Spermaceti Whale Fisheries….London, W. Bennett. vi, xviii, 179 pp.
Dudley, P. (1725) An Essay upon the Natural History of Whales, with a Particular Account of the Ambergris found in the Spermaceti Whale… Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 33: 256-269.
Duffault, S. and Whitehead, H. (1993). Assessing the stock identity of sperm whales in the Eastern Equatorial Pacific. Reports of the International Whaling Commission 43: 469-475.
Flower, W.H. (1868). On the osteology of the cachalot or sperm-whale (Physeter macrocephalus). Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society VI: 309-372, pls LV-LXI.
Gambell, R. (1972) Sperm whales off Durban. Discovery Reports 35: 199-358.
Huggett A., St G. and Widdas, W.F. (1951) The relationship between mammalian foetal weight and conception age. Journal of Physiology, London 114(3): 306-317. PMid:14861815 PMCid:1392285
International Whaling Commission (1980) Adherence of non-member countries to the convention, p. 13.
Matsuura, Y. (1936) Breeding habits of the sperm whale in the adjacent waters of Japan. Zoological Magazine, Tokyo 48 (5): 260-266.
Matsuura, Y. (1940) Statistical studies of the whale foetuses. III. Sperm whale in the adjacent waters of Japan. Bulletin of the Japanese Society of Scientific Fisheries 9(4): 142-144. http://dx.doi.org/10.2331/suisan.9.142
Matthews, L.H. (1938) The sperm whale, Physeter catodon. Discovery Reports 17: 93-168.
Mizue, K. and Jimbo, H. (1950). Statistic study of foetuses of whales. Scientific Reports of the Whales Research Institute, Tokyo 3: 119-131.
Nishiwaki, M., Hibiya, T. AND OHSUMI (KIMURA), S. (1958). Age study of sperm whale based on reading of tooth laminations. Scientific Reports of the Whales Research Institute, Tokyo 13: 135-153.
Nishiwaki, M., Ohsumi, S. and Maeda, Y. (1963) Change of form in the sperm whale accompanied with growth. Scientific Reports of the Whales Research Institute, Tokyo 13: 1-14.
Ohsumi, S. (1965) Reproduction of the sperm whale in the North-West Pacific. Scientific Reports of the Whales Research Institute, Tokyo 19: 1-35.
Ohsumi, S. (1966) Sexual segregation of the sperm whale in the North Pacific. Scientific Reports of the Whales Research Institute, Tokyo 20: 1-16.
Omura, H. (1950) Whales in the adjacent waters of Japan. Scientific Reports of the Whales Research Institute, Tokyo 4: 27-113.
Parkes, A.S. (1931) The reproductive processes of certain Mammals. II. The size of the Graafian follicle at ovulation. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London (B) 109: 185-196. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.1931.0076
Perrin, W.F. and Reilly, S.B. (1984) Reproductive parameters of dolphins and small whales of the family Delphinidae. Reports of the International Whaling Commission (Special Issue 6): 97-133.
Ramírez A., P. (1988) Comportamiento reproductivo del 'cachalote' (Physeter catodon L.). Boletín de Lima 59: 29-32.
Rice, D.W. (1977) Sperm whales in the Equatorial Eastern Pacific: population size and social organization. Reports of the International Whaling Commission 27: 333-336.
Riggs, D. (1941) Martha's Vineyard: The Story of my Grandmother. London. Bodley Head. PMid:16694841 PMCid:435065
Saetersdal, G., Mejía, J. and Ramírez, P. (1963) La caza de cachalotes en el Perú. Estadísticas de captura para los años 1947-1961 y un intento de analizar las condiciones de la población en el periodo 1954-1961. Boletín del Instituto de Investigación de los Recursos Marinos, Callao I: 45-84.
Siegel, S. and Castellan, J.N., Jr. (1988) Nonparametric Statistics for the Behavioural Sciences. Second Edition. McGraw-Hill International editions, Statistics Series, 399 pp.
Van Waerebeek, K. and Read, A.J. (1994) Reproduction of dusky dolphins Lagenorhynchus obscurus, from coastal Peru. Journal of Mammalogy 75(4): 1054-1062. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1382489
Whitehead, H., Weilgart, L. and Waters, S. (1989) Seasonality of sperm whales off the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. Reports of the International Whaling Commission 39: 207-210.
Whitehead, H., and Waters, S. (1990) Social organization and population structure of sperm whales off the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador (1985 and 1987). Reports of the International Whaling Commission (Special Issue 12): 249-257.
LicenseAuthors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).