White Crusts On Whales – Not Barnacles

How many of us thought that the patches found on whales are just barnacles?

Well as it turns out the white patches are what is called callosities. These patches appear white because they are actually infested with thousands of lice (cyamid) feeding on the whale’s dead skin .

In addition to callosities, whales also play host to other parasites such as barnacles and parasitic worms. As bad as all of this may sound, it is believed that these parasites are mostly harmless to the whale.

These parasites form unique patterns on whales. These patterns provide a method for uniquely identifying specific whales. Furthermore these organisms are extremely valuable for scientific research as identified in the clip below.

Watch the clip below for more info about these critters.

“Those White Crusts on Whales Are Alive and Full of Stories” – YouTube video by Sci Show

You can learn something new every day.

Here is a short but informative clip about the parasites found attached on whales and how they are being used by scientists. Watch below

“A whale of a ride!” – YouTube video by National Science Foundation

Images Source: YouTube Clips 1 , 2

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