The whales of Patagonia
Watch Southern Whales, Commerson Dolphins, sea birds and marine life from Chubut
Province. Patagonia - Argentina.
The cities of Puerto Madryn, Rawson and the little village of Puerto Pirámides,
in the Valdes Peninsula (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), constitute the entrance
to the extraordinary world of the Southern Whales
and the Commerson's
Dolphins. Every year they come to the coasts of Patagonia to accomplish their
eternal rite of mating.
• Map of Argentina
• Regions of Argentina
• Patagonia and the Lake District Elsewhere on the Web
• Whale Watching
• Chubut Province
The Southern Whale Whales are mammals perfectly adapted to sea life. They belong
to the cetacean species and, within this group, to the species of mysticetous,
which are the ones with no teeth but fibers. Usually whales have belly furrows
and a flipper on their back, but southern whales have none of that. Among the
features that make them different from the others are the shape and size of
their heads; their jaw being long and narrow occupies almost a quarter of their
whole body. Another feature typical of this species is the fact that when exhaling
they blow out a V-shaped water stream that can be seen from many miles away.
The southern whale was declared a natural monument. Nowadays about 7,000 specimen
inhabit all the seas in the south hemisphere, in lukewarm and pre-Antarctic
water. Every year, between May and December, about 600 specimens get to Golfo
Nuevo and Golfo San José in order to breed. This species can have an offspring
every three years. The pregnancy lasts twelve months and the baby whales are
suckled for two years. At birth they are between 4.6 and 5.5 meters long and
weigh about three tons. It's important to know that, thanks to the protection
policies carried on, every year the number of whales approaching our coasts
increases and so does the time they stay here.
In the days of the first watching expeditions, in 1971/72, they were only seen
between the months of October and November. Today the first ones arrive in May
and stay even until January. If this progression goes on we'll probably have
whales all year long in a near future. To this, we should add the fact that
the population grows an average 8% annually.
Read more about whales of Patagonia