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Mon Dec 9, 2019, 05:54 PM

Caring killer whale grandmas help calves survive

By Agence France-Presse

Doting killer whale grandmothers help their grand calves survive, particularly in times of food scarcity, scientists reported Monday in a paper that sheds new light on the evolutionary role of menopause.

Orca females stop reproducing in their thirties or forties but can continue to live for decades more, a phenomenon known only to exist in humans and four other mammal species, all of which are whales.

It has been suggested that the trait evolved because it allowed post reproductive females to help their wider kin — referred to as the “grandmother effect” in people, but the theory had not been tested in whales until now.

“This is the first non-human example of the grandmother effect in a menopausal species,” senior author Daniel Franks from the University of York told AFP.

snip

https://www.rawstory.com/2019/12/caring-killer-whale-grandmas-help-calves-survive/

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Reply Caring killer whale grandmas help calves survive (Original post)
catbyte Dec 2019 OP
mopinko Dec 2019 #1
catbyte Dec 2019 #2
mopinko Dec 2019 #3
catbyte Dec 2019 #4
mopinko Dec 2019 #5

Response to catbyte (Original post)

Mon Dec 9, 2019, 05:56 PM

1. grandma's made us who we are.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 9, 2019, 06:05 PM

2. Isn't that the truth?

I learned so much from my grandma. Both of my parents worked so I spent my summers at my grandparents' house. They lived practically next door to me so I saw her every day. She died in 1986 when I was 31 and I still miss her.

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Response to catbyte (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 9, 2019, 06:10 PM

3. nothing better for a kid than and active grandparent.

but evolutionarily speaking, menopause is a huge thing. grandmas are a huge thing. a lynchpin into tribal cultures.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 9, 2019, 06:27 PM

4. Absolutely. I find it fascinating that humans and some species of whales are the only females

that we know of --so far--on the planet that fulfills this role.

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Response to catbyte (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 9, 2019, 06:30 PM

5. evolution only gives up reproduction for one reason. advantage.

i have a sneaking suspicion that menopause crept in at about the same time males began to invest in a small number of offspring, instead of just broadcasting their seed.
i suspect that whole set up just doesnt work w/o a MIL.

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