Ice Age Affected Orcas

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 6,410
    Researchers find that the Ice Age decimated killer whale populations around 40,000 years ago.

     

    Researchers at Durham University in the UK found that the last Ice Age decimated killer whale populations around 40,000 years ago.  Looking at archived whale DNA, they found bottlenecks in orca populations all over the world, indicating a major loss in population.  This mean the genetic biodiversity majorly declined during the last Ice Age, except for one refuge population off the coast of South Africa that remained stable.  They think this particular population may have been saved from the effects of climate change that time thanks to a nutrient rich upwelling of water that provided food in that region.