A Bowhead Whale killed in a hunt was found to be approximately 211 years old (possibly up to 245 years old), the longest lived mammal known. The lifespan of a Bowhead was once thought to be 60 to 70 years, similar to other whales. However, discoveries of antique ivory spear points in living whales in 1993, 1995, 1999, and 2007 have triggered further research based on structures in the whale’s eye, leading to the reliable conclusion that at least some individuals have lived to be 150–200 years old (another report has said a female at the age of 90 was allegedly still reproductive). Because of their possible lifespans, female Bowhead Whales are believed to go through menopause. Observations of very large animals without calves support this hypothesis.
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