Mother right whales know best, maybe

Southern right whales learn where to feed from mom and may not relocate even if the usual buffet becomes sparse

11:33am, February 10, 2009

If the places you dined with your parents are still the only places you eat, you’re bound to miss out. Research looking at feeding behavior in southern right whales reveals that the same may be true for these cetaceans, says Luciano Valenzuela of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Analyses of maternal DNA and chemical isotopes extracted from skin samples of mama right whales and their babies reveal that the young whales learn where to eat from their moms and faithfully visit the same feeding grounds for life. 

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