What is whale lifespan? It seems that learning everything about whales is a bit difficult because this is a species that spends most of its time on the ocean floor and there are many other species that live hundreds of feet below the surface of the ocean. Sperm whales spend most of their time diving deep in search of food, in fact they can dive up to 3000 feet or even deeper. So, how do we know how long whales live, sometimes what we think is dead is still alive at the bottom of the ocean and looking for food.
It is very possible that there are whales that live more than a hundred years under the ocean floor. So, there is one thing that makes it easy for scientists to research whales, they are mammals, which means they breathe to live, so even if they dive far from the surface, one day they have to rise to the surface to breathe air and refill their breathing holes. so that the lungs can still function to breathe.
That’s why whales often rise to the surface of the ocean, and scientists can use satellite imagery to study and track a lot of whales. So how long do whales live? How do scientists view the whale lifespan.
Whale Lifespan: How Long Do Whales Live?
In general, the life span of whales ranges from 20 years to 100 years but varies according to the species. Even one species of whale can live beyond 200 years. Let’s look in detail about the lifespan of whales and some of the marine mammals belonging to the Cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises). What is the life span difference between them.
Bottlenose Dolphins Lifepsan
Bottlenose dolphins can live up to 40 years if properly cared for. In the history of dolphins, there is the oldest recorded dolphin aged 61 years and he lives in the marine center of Florida. But, In the wild, the life span of dolphins is much lower due to various natural conditions and attacks from their opponents.
In the wild they usually live around 17 years (more or less). The age of bottlenose dolphins is lower because in the wild they often encounter enemies in the form of predators and various other natural conditions.
How long do blue whales live?
How to tell how long a blue whale lives. Scientists believe that the best way to measure a blue whale lifespan is to look at its earwax. As it ages, the wax in the blue whale’s ear will change its DNA layer, indicating when the blue whale migrated.
This is like counting the rings on a tree which can give you an idea of the tree’s age. From the dirt in their ears you can also calculate migration and fasting periods and from here you can estimate how old they are or how long a blue whale has lived. Using this method, scientists estimate that the pygmy blue whale can live more than 70 years, while the larger Antarctic blue whale can live up to 90 years.
How long do killer whales live?
How about killer whales, how long do killer whales live? Killer whales are different from dolphins, these large mammals survive much longer in the wild than in captivity.
When in captivity, killer whales usually only live up to 30 years and in the wild they can live up to 40 years.
In the wild, the oldest killer whale known as “granny” lives in Washington state and British Columbia. Granny’s age is debated, but some reports state that this old killer whale lived from 1911 to 2016 and is 105 years old. Granny was captured in 1967 with the aim of moving her to a marine park, at that time she was considered 49 years old before she finally died. It’s like 60 to 80 years old and this is still the maximum time span for killing squads to survive in the wild.
Do the Biggest Whales Live the Longest?
There are three species of the largest whales, they are blue whales, fin whales and sei whales. This whale species has possibly the longest life span but is not considered the longest. Blue whales can grow to a size of 80-100 feet or as long as 3 school buses parked in a row.
Blue whales are found worldwide in the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans. The large number of whaling, the IUCN considers it an endangered animal. But the good news is that their numbers are increasing, this gives a lot of hope for the blue whale to be more able to survive. Blue whale lifespan is between 70 years to 90 years.
While fin whales which also belong to the Rorqual family can grow up to 75 and even 85 feet long and they have the same to blue whale, and their age is also close to that of blue whales where the average age is 80-90 years.
The sei whale is the third largest species of whale in the world, reaching 40 to 60 feet in length with a life span of between 50 and 70 years. Fin whales are also listed as endangered mammals, but their populations are increasing recently as are blue whales.
What whale has the longest life span?
Large whales have the longest lives but not the ones with the longest bodies. then which whale has the longest life? The answer is the bowhead whale.
This whale is recorded to have lived for more than 200 years. The average age of these whales is 100 – 200 years. Scientists are very interested in knowing more about the largest whale or referred to as this giant creature. Scientists want to know why mammals with such a long lifespan exist, such as the bowhead whale. Some of them are trying to find out the reason and want to apply it to humans to extend human life span.
How does this big whale delay aging and avoid various types of diseases related to its age. One study attempted to examine the genes of these large whales looking for “the existence of natural mechanisms that can effectively suppress cancer in these animals”. Scientists are figuring out how it is possible for these giant whales to age so slowly and it seems they are cancer-resistant creatures.
One theory suggests that these large animals survived so long because they lived in arctic and sub-arctic oceans, these large animals had adapted to cold temperatures, this is similar to animals hibernating during the winter, they lowered their metabolism and could prolong their lives. This is one of the reasons why scientists are fascinated by studying large-headed (bow-headed) whales.
How long do toothed whales live?
In general, whales are grouped into two groups. Baleen whales, as we mentioned above, include blue, fin, sei, and bowhead whales. Another one is the toothed whale, which includes toothed whales, namely sperm whales and beaked dolphins, as well as porpoises and beluga.
The largest toothed whale is the sperm whale which can reach 40 to 50 feet in length. Unlike baleen whales, which filter the oceans for small fish, krill, crustaceans and plankton, toothed whales hunt for prey and attack squid, skates and even sharks. Sperm whales live between 60 and 80 years.
What about the lifespans of dolphins and porpoises?
Dolphins and porpoises are included in whales but they have several groups. Porpoises belong to the dolphin family but are smaller and have shorter beaks with rounded noses. The Porpoises grow to a size of 5-7 feet and have a life span of 23 years.
While Dolphins have several groups, some live in the sea and some live in rivers (fresh water). The most common among the dolphins is the bottlenose dolphin and lives between 20-40 years. Amazon river dolphins are smaller and they are called pink dolphin because of their pink color, they have a life span of 12-18 years.