Whales May Need Sunscreen Soon


Grey Whale

According to a recent Yahoo! News story, many different species of whales off the Mexican coast are getting sunburned. Scientists say that the damaged ozone layer is allowing harmful ultraviolet radiation to penetrate into the upper layers of the ocean, where whales typically congregate. The whales, being mammals of course, need to surface periodically to breathe and spend a lot of time in shallow waters socializing and rearing their young. The scientists photographed and took skin samples from many different whale species. The results revealed that lighter skinned whales tend to suffer more damage, with blue whales being the most affected. Skin cancer hasn’t yet been found, but only a small sample was taken from each of the massive animals, so it hasn’t been ruled out. This finding just reveals another environmental stress whales will have to face.


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