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Record number of whales, krill found in Antarctic bays
Date:4/27/2011

"We're starting to hear songs being produced by whales in the Antarctic sexual advertisements typically heard only in humpback breeding grounds that are located thousands of miles away from these bays," Friedlaender says.

Humpback whales typically reproduce once every three years, "so if a female doesn't have to go to the breeding grounds every year if she has access to food here and isn't being forced out by sea cover why should she leave?" Nowacek says. The presence of more females, coupled with access to a nightly krill feast, entices more males to stick around too. "So this may affect the timing and location of humpback breeding and other important lifecycle events."

Consideration of these factors, and the effects of rapid climate change, on krill dynamics will be critical to managing sustainable krill harvests and the continued recovery of baleen whales in the Southern Ocean, he says.


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Contact: Tim Lucas
tdlucas@duke.edu
919-613-8084
Duke University
Source:Eurekalert

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