MAR 05, 2015 12:31 PM PST

Female Killer Whales Help Pods Survive

Like people, female killer whales undergo menopause, living long after their baby-bearing days are done. But why people, and whales, do so is very much up for debate. Now, a new study says the reason-at least in killer whales-may have to do with who holds information critical for the group's survival.
A herd of killer whales hunts for food together
Researchers found evidence that menopausal whales act as a kind of library of information, directing their groups or pods to where they can find food when fish are scarce. In this way, older females give their pods a greater chance at survival, according to the study, published March 5 in the journal Current Biology.

(Source: National Geographic)
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