Scientists decided to study the remains found on the coast of South GeorgiaNear abandoned research stations of these large animals.
They compared the old bones with the DNA of modern whales. The research result was also surprising to the researchers.
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Whaling (which was especially fashionable in the 20th century) not only contributed to a significant reduction in the population of these extraordinary animals.
Amazing discovery by scientists
The scientists’ work shows that frequent whaling has led to a significant reduction in the species’ DNA diversity.. The markings on the bones prove this.
DNA loss has been observed in, among others, blue and humpback whales.
DNA passed from generation to generation includes, among others: the animal’s cultural memory, feeding place and reproduction. Angela Srempa, the study’s lead author, said that if the mother’s inheritance is destroyed, the trait characteristic of a particular species simply disappears.
Scientists note that poaching has also significantly reduced the population of the world’s largest whales. Hunters were looking for the biggest specimens they could hunt.
More than 175,000 whales have died off the South Georgia coast in 60 years. Globally, fishermen have killed up to 2 million of these animals. Although the world’s whale population is beginning to recover, many more species are at risk of extinction.
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