Blue-Green color and composition of stejneger's beaked whale (Mesoplodon stejnegeri) milk

D. E. Ullrey, C. C. Schwartz, P. A. Whetter, T. Rajeshwar Rao, J. R. Euber, S. G. Cheng, J. R. Brunner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


1. 1. Two hundred ml of milk were obtained from a lactating Stejneger's beaked whale stranded at Ninilchik, Alaska on 21 Oct, 1980. 2. 2. Total solids (41%) were similar to values reported for sperm and belukha whales, while fat (17%) was half as great and crude protein (17%) was 2-4 times greater than in milk of these species. Lactose was not detected. 3. 3. Calcium (0.22%) was greater than reported for pigmy sperm whales but less than for blue whales. Phosphorus (0.07%) was less than for any of the above species. Sodium and potassium concentrations were 0.13% and 0.11%, respectively. 4. 4. Values (μg/g) for other elements analyzed (magnesium, 42; iron, 35; copper, 2.6; zinc, 1.5; manganese, 0.3; selenium, 0.36) have not been reported for whale milk. 5. 5. Based on SDS-gel electropherograms, this whale milk did not contain a whey protein corresponding to cattle milk α-lactalbumin. 6. 6. A blue-green pigment in the milk was identified as biliverdin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-352
Number of pages4
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology -- Part B: Biochemistry and
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology


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