They swam north to survive – University of Copenhagen

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11 April 2013

They swam north to survive

Bowhead whale in Disko Bay, Northe West GreenlandMany of the large land mammals, such as mammoths and woolly rhinos, didn’t survive the last ice-age. In contrast ocean mammals such as the bowhead whale, which with a lifespan of 200 years is the world’s longest living mammal, did.

According to the first study on what happened to large marine mammals in this period, they did this by tracking the changing sea ice distributions, and moving their range north as the ice coverage of the northern oceans shrank.

These results from Copenhagen University and Albert-Ludwigs University in Germany are now published in the journal Nature Communications.

Photo: Bowhead whale, Disko Bay, North West Greenland. Copyright Dr. Andy Foote.