Navigation Links
Antarctic killer whales may seek spa-like relief in the tropics
Date:10/26/2011

NOAA researchers offer a novel explanation for why a type of Antarctic killer whale performs a rapid migration to warmer tropical waters in a paper published this month in the science journal Biology Letters. One tagged Antarctic killer whale monitored by satellite traveled over 5,000 miles to visit the warm waters off southern Brazil before returning immediately to Antarctica just 42 days later. This was the first long distance migration ever reported for killer whales.

"The whales are traveling so quickly, and in such a consistent track, that it is unlikely they are foraging for food or giving birth," said John Durban, lead author from NOAA's Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla, California. "We believe these movements are likely undertaken to help the whales regenerate skin tissue in a warmer environment with less heat loss."

As evidence, the researchers point to the yellowish coating on Antarctic killer whales caused by a thick accumulation of diatoms or algae on the outer skin of the animals. The coloring is noticeably absent when they return from warmer waters indicating the upper epidermis of the skin has been shed.

The scientists tagged 12 Type B killer whales (seal-feeding specialists) near the Antarctic Peninsula and tracked 5 that revealed consistent movement to sub-tropical waters. The whales tended to slow in the warmest waters although there was no obvious interruption in swim speed or direction to indicate calving or prolonged feeding.

"They went to the edge of the tropics at high speed, turned around and came straight back to Antarctica, at the onset of winter", said Robert Pitman, co-author of the study. "The standard feeding or breeding migration does not seem to apply here".

Researchers believe there are at least three different types of killer whales in Antarctica and have labeled them Types A, B and C. http://swfsc.noaa.gov/textblock.aspx?Division=PRD&ParentMenuId=210&id=9606


'/>"/>
Contact: Jim Milbury
jim.milbury@noaa.gov
562-980-4006
NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. First comprehensive inventory of life in Antarctica
2. Global warming threatens Antarctic sea life
3. CO2 drop and global cooling caused Antarctic glacier to form
4. Final frontier: Mission to explore buried ancient Antarctic lake given green light
5. UK robot sub searches for signs of melting 60 km into an Antarctic ice shelf cavity
6. Ancient ecosystem thrives millions of years below Antarctic glacier
7. Unlikely life thriving at Antarcticas Blood Falls
8. Algae and pollen grains provide evidence of remarkably warm period in Antarcticas history
9. Antarctica glacier retreat creates new carbon dioxide store
10. LSU gets to the bottom of things -- in Antarctica
11. First comprehensive review of the state of Antarcticas climate
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/26/2016)... , April 27, 2016 ... "Global Multi-modal Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report to their ... , The analysts forecast the global ... of 15.49% during the period 2016-2020.  ... of sectors such as the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... -- A new partnership announced today will help life ... a fraction of the time it takes today, ... insurance policies to consumers without requiring inconvenient and ... rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) and higi,s ... pulse, BMI, and activity data) available at local ...
(Date:4/14/2016)... 14, 2016 BioCatch ™, ... today announced the appointment of Eyal Goldwerger ... Goldwerger,s leadership appointment comes at a time ... the deployment of its platform at several of the ... which discerns unique cognitive and physiological factors, is a ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2016)... May 23, 2016 Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE ... announced that its Board of Directors has approved the payment ... quarter of 2016. The cash dividend of ... 29, 2016 to stockholders of record as of the close ... are subject to approval of the Board of Directors and ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2016 , ... ... building management solutions and services based in Aurora, Ohio, has broken ground on ... business in the Research Triangle Park area, this new location solidifies a commitment ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... Diego, CA (PRWEB) , ... May 20, 2016 , ... ... that 10 of its most experienced veterinary clients have treated over 100 of their ... cutting edge technology to provide the highest level of care for their patients. ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... ... ... The recent recall by Costco and Trader Joes of 47 million pounds ... 2016(1), demonstrates the need for faster and more cost effective bio-threat detection to ensure ... , PathSensor’s latest solution uses a biosensor technology called CANARY®. CANARY®, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: