A study finds that the survival of young orcas is directly related to the presence of their grandmothers.
Yea, so a recent study finds that young orcas eat better and live longer when their grandma is around. Apparently, the wisdom and experience of a grandmother pays off well for orcas as much as it does for us land based mammals.
Furthermore, it was found that the survival of young orcas improves even more dramatically if the grandmother is menopausal.
Watch following video for a full explanation about the Grandmother Effect and the research that was done.
Read on for more details:
For their research, scientists analyzed decades of census data on orca populations around Washington state and British Columbia. Orca calf mortality, they noted, rose sharply in the years following the death of a post-menopausal grandmother. But calves that still lived with their grandmas enjoyed a much higher rate of survivability.
The researchers suspect post-menopausal grandmothers simply have more time to dote on the young ones, caring for them as a kind of nanny and making sure they have enough food to eat.
“The study suggests that breeding grandmothers are not able to provide the same level of support as grandmothers who no longer breed,” lead author Dan Franks, a biologist at the U.K.’s University of York tells Agence France-Presse. “This means that the evolution of menopause has increased a grandmother’s capacity to help her grand-offspring.”
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