Grandma Whales Watch Out for Babies

Grandmas are great for babies, with their love and ever present treats. If you thought human grandmothers were protective and loving, you need to check out the killer whales. Scientists at the University of York and Exeter (UK), the Centre for Whale Research (USA) and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, have been studying the behavior of killer whale pods for over 36 years.

This scientific research study which shows that post menopausal whales can actually impact higher rates of survival for grand-offspring whales. Grandma killer whales are the most knowledgeable and provide an important leadership role for the group when foraging in salmon grounds. This means that the baby whales get herded to where the food is most plentiful. Allowing them to grow strong and survive.

As wild salmon populations of the Chinook salmon continue to decline over the years, these grandma whales are going to become even more important to the survival of their species. While males and females stay in the same pod as their mothers, they will mate with individuals from different family groups. The populations are primarily found in the North West Pacific Coast of Canada and the U.S. The maternal whale society depends on the grandma to literally lead the way.

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