September 3, 2013
Whales Can Get A Tan Like Humans
Whales have been catching some rays! Just as we tan, or sunburn, so do whales! New research reveals that whales get darker with sun exposure and even incur DNA damage from prolonged sun exposure as they age. Blisters discovered on whales in Mexico prompted this research, which looked at blue, sperm, and fin whales after they returned from their migration to sunnier climes. One interesting find was that darker sperm whales trigger a stress response that protects them from the sun since they spend more time near the ocean surface and receive more UV radiation – similar to the way our skin uses free radicals for sun protection. They say this is a reminder that climate change is affecting every creature on the planet. Isn’t that a whale of a tan?
[ Read the Article: Can Whales Get Sunburns? ]