How Grey Whales Survived the Ice Age

Hey everyone, sorry I haven’t been on here in a while.

It seems as though my last semester of my Undergrad is keeping me VERY VERY busy. I haven’t forgotten about you though..I miss updating as much as I used to over the summer.

Well here is an interesting story I wanted to share dealing with Grey Whales.

Currently- Grey Whales feed on the seafloor at depths around 50 meters, and they rely heavily on Alaska’s Bering Sea shallow regions for food. But when researchers from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC modelled the Pacific feeding growunds of the whales during peak glaciation, they found that very little of the north Paicific was shallow enough for the whales to feed. The ocean levels were up to 120 meters lower than today and the Bering Sea was just a land bridge.

Concluding- that the Northern feeding grounds might have only supported only a couple hundred whales- but genetic studies show no sign of a bottleneck at the time.

SOOooo that leads to the assumption that the whales shifted to open-water feeding to survive during the Ice Ages. This assumption comes from the idea comes from a small group of open-water feeders found living year-round in the Pacific northwest.

Researchers believe that after the Ice Age, the non-migratory whales would have been VERY easy targets for  early whalers, which could explain why the current non-migratory Grey Whales are not dominate, and the migratory Grey Whales are.

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3 Comments

  1. Thanks for this great post. I like the helpful information you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your blog and check again here regularly. I am quite certain I will learn a lot off new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!

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