Female Menopausal Killer Whales Are Group Leaders, Help in Group Survival

March 8, 2015 4:00 AM

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Now, in a recent study published in the journal Current Biology, the authors attempt to explain why menopausal females increase the reproductive success of their descendants. Interestingly, they do so by studying another species where menopausal females also live long: orcas, known colloquially as “killer whales.” According to Discovery News, like humans, female orcas breed between the ages of 12-40, but can survive much longer, even into their 90s.

In order to arrive at their conclusion, the authors collected information on orcas over a 35-year time period, making observations on 102 individuals. As described by Discovery News, the information collected included the obvious birth and death dates, but also more complicated information about the...

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