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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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ScienceShot: Who's Your Whale Daddy?
26 June 2012 1:45 pm
Male southern right whales (Eubalaena australis) are known to "get around." Every winter, they abandon their solitary migration habits and make their way to different sites along the Southern Hemisphere, where they mate with several females. But a new study reveals that not all male southern right whales are such lotharios—and that might be a bad thing. Researchers took small skin samples from right whales inhabiting the isolated subantarctic islands of New Zealand. Paternity testing showed that local right males fathered most of the baby whales in the same pack, suggesting that they were returning to the exact same mating grounds, and very few new males were coming in to mate with the females. Though the researchers aren't sure why the males are so loyal to one mating ground, they say that their behavior could endanger this already-threatened population. Without fresh genetic material, the New Zealand population could become inbred and future generations could become unhealthy, the team reports online this month in Molecular Ecology. Sooner, rather than later, these male southern right whales have got to just put themselves out there.
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