16 Sep '12, 5am

Male Whales are Momma's Boys (Video)

Male Whales are Momma's Boys (Video)

Female killer whales have the longest menopause of any non-human species. Now scientists think they know why. If his mommy dies, a male whale is 14 times more likely to die within the year. The research team, from the Universities of Exeter and York (UK), the Center for Whale Research (USA) and Pacific Biological Station (Canada) studied killer whales in the North Pacific ocean over a period of 36 years. Menopause seems difficult to explain in evolutionary terms : how does surviving well past the age in which reproduction is possible contribute to the survival of a species? Attempts to answer the question have lead to the so-called "Grandmother hypothesis" which surmises that Grandma's contributions to the core family unit help the survival chances of the third generation. In the case of whales, the mothers themselves remain dedicated to their offspring a lifetime long -- ...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/ocean-conservation/male-whales-...

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