The Tight Travel Schedule of Great Whales

From Issue: Discovery 6/1/2007

Although great whales are found in all oceans, they still migrate…a lot. Generally, these giant mammals travel to cold waters for feeding, and to warmer waters to give birth. Southern right whales, blue whales, grey whales, humpbacks, and northern right whales all have slightly different migration patterns. Whales depend on migration for survival.

For example, the humpback whale, whose Latin name means “big-winged New Englander,” is known for its spectacular leaps and long, white side flippers. About 100 humpback whales arrive on Stellwagen Bank, a newly designated marine area off Massachusetts, in the spring. There, they feed on slender, five-inch-long fish called sand launce.

Each winter, gray whales pass by the western overlooks of Cabrillo National Monument in California. After spending the summer feeding in the food-rich waters of the Arctic, the whales swim south along the coast to the Baja bays, where they mate and nurse their young. Blue whales also spend the winters in temperate and subtropical regions, migrating to the polar regions in the spring and summer to feed in the water of melting icepacks.

Evolution has no good explanation for whale migration. Why do whales “automatically” go to cold waters to eat enough food to sustain them during the mating season, when they eat much less? Why do whales consistently go to warmer waters to birth their young? Surely no human being informed them that warmer water is better for young whales.

In fact, evolution cannot explain why the first whales “decided” to migrate in order to survive. The only sensible explanation is that God gave whales the necessary instinct to travel and behave in precisely the ways that allow them to survive. The Bible teaches that God, the Creator of all things, has power over all animals, even massive creatures such as whales (see Genesis 6:20; Jonah 1:7; 2:10; Deuteronomy 7:22; Job 40:15-24).


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