Scientists have found that the metabolic changes that allowed whales and dolphins to adapt to their aquatic lifestyle have implications on how we should assess the impact of human activities on their conservation.
Human activities such as shipping, tourism, offshore construction, and naval exercises have an impact on the foraging opportunities of sea mammals, which in turn can impact their ability to reproduce. When dolphins and whales are disturbed too often, they are not able to eat enough to keep their calves alive. That is at least what we think based on our understanding of the way terrestrial mammals handle ‘deficits’ in their energy.
New research published in Conservation Physiology from the University of Aberdeen and the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) shows that the way energy is handled by sea mammals has radically changed compared to their terrestrial counterparts. MORE
Header image: University of Aberdeen.