A Whale of a Tale: A Whale’s Personal Journal via Earwax

by Rachel Baker on September 17, 2013

Not only does a whale’s ear wax mark hormonal milestones in a whale’s life, but it also gives an indication of the whale’s exposure to contaminants in the environment.

From a fetid, foot-long rod of earwax, extracted from the skull of a dead blue whale, scientists have unspooled an in-depth life story of one member of the largest mammals on earth. These waxy diaries could give marine biologists a new way to study the lives of a free-swimming species, and a window into the health of the ocean at large.


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